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Full text of "Popular Science Monthly Volume 75 with photos"

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



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n 



POPULAR SCIENCE 
MONTHLY 



EDITED BY 

J. MCKEEN CATTELL 



VOLUME LXXV 
JULY TO DECEMBER, 1909 



« 



NEW YORK 

THE SCIENCE PRESS 

1909 



Copyright, 1908 
The Science Press 



Press or 

THE NEW ERA PRINTIN6 COMPANY 
LANCASTER. PA. 



THE 

POPULAR SCIENCE 

MONTHLY. 



JULY, 1909 



NATURAL RESISTANCE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND 
ITS REINFORCEMENT. 1 

By Dr. SIMON FLBXNER 

ROCKEFELLER INSTITUTE FOB MEDICAL RESEARCH 

COMMON observations early indicated that individuals of all animal 
species, and of the human species especially, were very unequally 
subject to disease. This elementary fact is impressed every day upon 
the thoughtful and has been, from the earliest times, the object of much 
ingenious speculation. Even to-day, and in spite of the acquisition of a 
wealth of new facts in physiology and pathology, we are not able to 
define fully the conditions that make for or against disease. How- 
ever, the new knowledge which has been acquired enables us to see much 
more deeply and clearly into the complex mechanisms of disease than 
could be seen half a century ago ; but unfortunately our insight has not 
been strengthened as regards all diseases, but almost exclusively in re- 
lation to the infectious diseases. In respect to the other class, or non- 
infectious or chronic diseases, among which are Bright's disease, vas- 
cular disease, malignant tumors, the gains in fundamental knowledge 
are far less great. 

It may be axiomatic to state that all actual progress in unraveling 
the complicated conditions of disease depends upon precise knowledge 
of its underlying causes; and yet in an age in which comparative 
ignorance still requires that a certain amount of practise shall be 
empirical, it is well to bear in mind this notion, so that what is under- 
taken through knowledge may be kept distinct from what is adventured 
through ignorance. It has been to the lasting credit of the medical 
profession of an early period, when actual knowledge of the under- 
lying causes of disease had not, and in the then state of development 

1 Read at the University Lectures on Public Health at Columbia University, 
New York City, March 1. 

' 069 



6 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

of the physical sciences could not, have yielded a single concrete fact, 
that one method — vaccination — and the most perfect one yet discovered 
of preventing a disease, and two drugs — quinine and mercury — specific 
for two other infectious diseases, should have been found and so suc- 
cessfully applied. But in contrast to this slow, painful and halting 
advance in practical means for the relief of suffering, is to be placed 
the body of robust facts, acquired in a quarter of a century, during the 
present or bacteriological era in medicine, which enables us to view in 
some measure the mechanisms of disease and defense against it, and 
which has pointed the way to efficient modes of prevention, and, in a few 
brilliant instances, to the production of biologically perfect means of 
combating certain infectious maladies. To produce a means, as has 
been done through the perfection of curative sera, that shall strike down 
myriads of living parasitic organisms, within the interior of the body, 
amid millions of sensitive and even sentient cells of the organs, without 
inflicting on them the smallest injury, is indeed a great accomplish- 
ment. And if I am successful to-day in placing before you the main 
facts, now revealed, of the body's manner of defense to parasitic inva- 
sion, you will, I think, come to see that it has been by imitating nature's 
methods and by augmentation of the natural forces of defense, that 
good has been achieved. 

The facts laboriously acquired, on which this presentation will rest, 
have been drawn from the study of spontaneous disease — so-called 
natural disease — among man and animals, and from experimental 
diseases produced in animals. I need scarcely point out that there is 
really no unnatural form of disease any more than there is a really 
natural one; in all instances we are dealing with natural laws of health 
and disease, the difference merely being that in one case we are often 
ignorant of the time and manner of entrance of the infecting germs 
into the body, and in the other they are purposely introduced, in a pre- 
determined efficient manner, in a pure state into the animal body. 
Since we are so often ignorant of the precise manner of ingress of the 
germs in the non-experimental forms of disease, we conclude from 
the identity of the conditions present in the experimental and non- 
experimental forms of the disease, that in effect they are identical. 
This power exactly to reproduce at will, by pure bacterial cultures, 
infectious disease in animals has been of inestimable benefit in investi- 
gating disease. 

To escape disease is not merely to remain without the zone of in- 
fluence of the germs of disease. To do this in all cases is impossible, 
because with certain germ diseases — tuberculosis, for example — the 
germs are ubiquitous; and with several other diseases the germs are. 
constant if not naturalized inhabitants of the body. Thus we carry on 
our skin surfaces constantly the germs of suppuration ; on the mucous 
membranes of the nose and throat the germs of pneumonia, and some- 
times those of diphtheria, tuberculosis and meningitis. The intestinal 



RESISTANCE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE 7 

mucous membrane supports a rich and varied bacterial flora among 
which are several potentially harmful species and sometimes, even 
under conditions of health, the bacilli of typhoid fever, of dysentery, 
and in regions in which cholera is endemic, or during its epidemics, of 
cholera bacilli. 

It is obvious, therefore, that it is practically impossible to escape 
the dangers of bacterial infection, and withdrawal absolutely from 
other human beings and from all human habitations would be powerless 
to accomplish this result. It is equally obvious that with such constant 
and universal exposure to bacterial infection the body must, for the 
greater part, easily defend itself against this class of its enemies. It 
is now known that this defense is not merely by exclusion of the 
bacteria from the interior of the body, although in itself this is an im- 
portant means of protection for which special mechanisms are provided, 
but that constant small escapes of bacteria into the blood are taking 
place from the mucous membranes chiefly, and that there rarely 
ensues disease from this cause. 

On the other hand, there is another class of disease germs that do 
not regularly inhabit the body and whose influence is occasional only. 
Some of these germs are exquisitely infectious, as, for example, 
those causing small-pox, measles and scarlet fever; and others require 
an intermediate agency to inoculate them as in malaria, yellow fever, 
and possibly bubonic plague. And yet, excluding small-pox, which in 
ante- vaccination days overlooked few if any persons in infected regions, 
a great diversity of susceptibility to infection has been noted again and 
again among exposed persons and animals. This variability of infec- 
tivity affects difference in species, race and individuals and constitutes 
one of the fundamental problems of disease. Certain diseases are 
naturally limited to certain species and can not at all, or can only with 
great difficulty, be transferred to another, although related, species; 
other diseases appear among several species widely separated from each 
other; still other diseases choose by preference or are quite restricted 
to certain breeds of a species ; and finally, individuals of a homogeneous 
species exhibit wide differences of susceptibility to infection. A 
worked-out theory of infection to and immunity from disease would 
include and explain, all these, and many more, diversities which have 
been observed. I need not offer an apology for this at present unat- 
tained ideal. 

It was early apparent that bacteria must sometimes escape into the 
blood and yet that infection did not follow. It was observed that fre- 
quently at death the interior of the body was free of bacteria and might 
remain so for many hours and until signs of putrefaction began to be 
apparent. The deduction from this observation was to the effect that 
the blood and organs must protect themselves during life and for a 
period after death from bacterial development. The remarkable anti- 
bacterial power of the blood was demonstrated directly by injecting 



8 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

putrescent fluids into the veins of rabbits and noting that not only 
might they survive the infections and remain quite normal, but that the 
blood drawn soon after the injection was made need not, when care- 
fully collected, undergo putrefaction. This fundamental experiment, 
performed before pure cultures of bacteria were available, left no doubts 
that the body possesses internal means of ridding itself of large num- 
bers of bacteria. 

It is apparent that the body possesses two possible distinct ways of 
freeing itself of these bacteria: it might remove them through the 
excretory organs — the kidneys or liver; it might rid itself of them by 
destroying them inside the body. It was with the rise of modern 
bacteriology that proof was brought that the blood and certain other 
body fluids — peritoneal, pleural, pericardial transudates — possess a re- 
markable power of destroying bacteria. This power resides in shed 
blood, in the other fluids withdrawn from the body, and even in the 
fluids deprived of all their natural cellular constituents. Here was 
then a concrete fact : the fluids of the interior of the body are capable 
of killing large numbers of bacteria. It could now be shown that the 
bacteria introduced in large numbers into the blood of a living animal 
are not excreted but are destroyed within the body. This power of the 
blood is, however, not indefinite and is not exercised equally against all 
kinds of bacteria. Even with bacteria that readily succumb a very large 
number may exceed the blood's capacity to destroy, so that survival and 
multiplication would result; and certain bacterial species proved highly 
resistant to this blood destruction. Moreover, it was observed that the 
blood of all animals tested did not produce the same effects on given 
kinds of bacteria, that this power to destroy bacteria was lost spontane- 
ously in a few days by the fluids removed from the body and was 
destroyed immediately by a temperature of 60° C. It is, therefore, a 
highly labile quality. 

Apparently the way was opened up for the detection of the condi- 
tions which underlie infection and immunity and the various peculiari- 
ties determined by species, race and individual. Unfortunately, there 
proved to be no sharp relation between the bactericidal powers of shed 
blood and immunity from or susceptibility to infection. And impor- 
tant as these blood-phenomena proved to be, in accomplishing protection 
from infection, they do not in themselves account for all observed 
conditions. 

The factors upon which the bactericidal properties of the blood 
depend have now been clearly ascertained. The chief substance has 
been called alexin or defensive substance, but in reality the alexin is 
a compound and consists of a sensitive body— complement — and a more 
stable substance — intermediary body. Bacteria are killed and disin- 
tegrated when the intermediate body can attach itself to them and 
bring them under the influence of the complement — a digestive en- 
zymotic element, to which the intermediary body also attaches itself. 



RESISTANCE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE 9 

Moreover, it is now quite certain that of the two principles the 
intermediary body alone is a fixed, native element of the blood plasma, 
and the complement is subject to considerable fluctuations in quantity. 
The origin of the intermediary body has not been determined, while 
it is quite established that the complement is yielded by the white 
corpuscles, or leucocytes, of the blood. This matter of the origin of the 
complement is very important because the protective value of the blood 
fluid is determined by the quantity of complement available at any one 
time and not so much by the more constant intermediary body which 
is usually in excess of the complement. The complement would appear 
to arise from the leucocytes partly as a secretion; but the quantity 
derived in this way would not appear to be considerable. It also arises 
from leucocytes which are brought by any cause to degeneration and 
disintegration, and this would seem to be a richer source than the other. 
Leucocytes are constantly being worn out by physiological use and as 
constantly yielding up their complement to the blood as they go to 
pieces. It would appear, then, that the very essential complement which 
exists in the circulating blood and passes from the blood into the lymph 
and serous cavities, will be more or less determined in quantity by the 
number of blood leucocytes and the conditions to which they are exposed, 
and as they are brought to slower or faster degeneration; and it is 
extremely probable that the secretion of complement is influenced also 
by the nature of the stimuli to which even the living leucocytes are 
exposed. It has been shown beyond peradventure that the blood plasma 
contains less complement than blood serum, as would now be expected 
since the origin of complement from degenerating leucocytes has been 
abundantly shown, and because in the clotting of the blood the leuco- 
cytes are so greatly disintegrated. But I do not think that even the 
most ardent adversaries of the view that the fluids of the interior of the 
body do not exert direct bactericidal effects, have been able to show 
that the plasma contains no complement. The complement is such a 
labile body that doubtless it is constantly used up physiologically and 
must therefore as constantly be renewed, and it is highly probable that 
the balance between production and destruction may not always be 
maintained, whence a considerable fluctuation may occur even in health. 
Whether the fluctuations ever synchronize with intending infections in 
such a manner as to promote them is not really known, but is not 
impossible. 

It is, however, patent that the naturally operative defensive mechan- 
isms against bacterial invasion must contain other factors than these 
humoral ones. We are all now prepared to admit that in the phago- 
cytes, or the devouring white corpuscles of the blood, the body possesses 
another defensive system of high efficiency. The motile nature of these 
cells and their presence in the circulating blood accord them a high 
degree of mobility, so that they can be quickly dispatched to any part of 
the body threatened by invaders, and are hardly behind the fluids of 



io THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

the blood in this ability to be massed or delivered where needed. The 
phagocytic mechanism of defense operates through all the orders of the 
metazoa; and while it can hardly have been developed originally as a 
protective system against parasites, and doubtless represents a mech- 
anism for disposing of effete and useless particulate matter in the body 
by a process of intracellular digestion, yet it has reached through 
evolutionary selection a high state of perfection and must have exer- 
cised no small influence in protecting from extinction certain living 
species. 

There is good reason to believe that in the final disposal of bacteria 
intruded into the body the phagocytes play the terminal role: i. e., 
under favorable conditions they are attracted through chemical stimuli 
furnished by the bacteria to which they respond to englobe them, after 
which the bacteria are often disintegrated. But there is equally good 
reason to believe that, with few exceptions, this engulfing can not take 
place until the bacteria have been acted on by certain plasmatic con- 
stituents that prepare the bacteria to be taken into the body of the 
phagocytes. The further the phenomena of bacterial destruction in the 
body are probed the more certain does it become that there is no single 
and uniform process of their disposal. The humoral doctrine of bac- 
terial destruction contains much of fact, the phagocytic doctrine much 
of fact, and it is quite certain that the practical defensive activities of 
the body constantly imply the use of both mechanisms. 

And when we push the analysis of the manner in which bacteria 
injure the body and enumerate the various bactericidal substances which 
have now been determined as existing in the plasma and in the cells, 
we find that this interaction must be supposed to take place. Plasmatic 
bactericidal action and phagocytic inclusion are cooperative functions; 
plasmatic antitoxic action and phagocytic detoxication are cooperative 
functions; plasmatic opsonization and phagocytic ingestion are com- 
plemental functions; plasmatic agglutination and phagocytic engulfing 
are also complemental, although less essential functions. And although 
in intending infections the toxic action of the bacteria to be dealt with 
is less a matter of great consequence, yet in principle the disposal of a 
few bacteria is not different from the disposal of many ; and in dealing 
with the poison or toxic elements of bacteria, the plasma possesses 
distinct power of direct neutralization as the phagocytes possess distinct 
ability to transform poisonous into non-poisonous molecules. 

I desire now to refer again to the subject of racial and species 
immunity for which the humoral factors of bacterial destruction af- 
forded an imperfect explanation, in order that I may point out that 
the introduction of bacteria, incapable of causing infection, into immune 
species is followed by immediate phagocytic ingestion and destruction of 
the microorganisms. The rapidity and perfection of the phagocytic 
reaction in insusceptible animals are very impressive and might readily 
lead to the decision that they suffice to explain the resistance or 



RESISTANCE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE u 

immunity. However, the matter does not permit of such summary 
disposal, since there appear to be other factors that enter into the 
phenomena. The frog that does not become tetanic when inoculated 
with tetanus bacilli or poison, develops tetanic spasms when the tem- 
perature is raised somewhat; the hen that does not respond to an 
anthrax inoculation develops the infection when the temperature is 
lowered somewhat. Even for the final ingestion of bacteria by the 
phagocytes of alien and insusceptible species the plasma principles are 
required. 

Undoubtedly the phenomena of racial and species immunity are 
affected by phagocytosis. But our present knowledge does not justify 
us in disregarding other possible and contributing agencies. We are 
still so little informed of even the grosser features of the body's metab- 
olism that it would be premature to deny to it influence on susceptibility 
to infection. Between the metabolism of birds and mammals there is 
such wide disparity that an influence could easily be conceived; but the 
metabolic disparity is less between the herbivora and carnivora, and still 
less between some closely related species which yet show marked differ- 
ences in susceptibility to bacterial infection ; and as between individuals 
of the same species it could only be the finer intramolecular variations 
that conceivably could come into play. 

Although the properties of the defensive mechanisms of the blood 
have not been exhausted, yet they have been defined in such detail as to 
suffice for the moment and to permit us to turn attention, for a brief 
space, to some of the properties of the intending invading bacteria. It 
is matter of common experience, which each of us has suffered, that 
the elaborate mechanisms provided for our protection from bacterial 
infection do not always suffice, and now it becomes necessary to explain 
why they do not. In the first place, there are very great differences 
between the bacteria which seek to enter the body. Some species are 
never very harmful and are readily combated, excluded or destroyed; 
other species often possess only a moderate degree of virulence or poten- 
tial power of doing injury and can also, as a rule, be overcome; while 
these second species sometimes acquire such highly virulent or invasive 
powers that the defenses prove quite inadequate to exclude or combat 
them. During the prevalence of great bacterial epidemics it is probable 
that this factor, virulence, plays a considerable r61e. Of course in 
epidemics the bacterial causes are by the exigencies of the situation 
more widely diffused than at other times, so that more individuals come 
under their influence ; but with even such a common bacterium as the 
diplococcus which causes pneumonia and the bacillus which produces 
influenza, there arise conditions in which severe and often very exten- 
sive outbreaks, or localized epidemics, occur which are probably to be 
attributed to an accession in virulence of these germs, although the 
precise causes leading to the increase may not be discovered. 

Now this quality of virulence, which is often evolved so quickly 



12 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

and apparently so mysteriously is expressed biologically in various ways 
besides in that of greater infective power : virulent bacteria may prove 
incapable of being charged with opsonin so that they can not be ingested 
by phagocytes ; they may show unusual power to resist plasma or serum 
destruction; they may drive away or repel or act negatively in respect 
to chemical attraction on the phagocytes; and being thus unopposable 
they tend to multiply quickly and with little restraint and thus still 
further to break down and render ineffective the normal defensive 
mechanisms, and ultimately to damage seriously the sensitive cells of 
the organs. This constitutes disease. 

Another power resides in the body that should be regarded, namely, 
the power to neutralize or destroy poisons as distinct from parasites; 
for the body is exposed to the deleterious action of poisons generated by 
living parasites that do not themselves penetrate within the body. 
Some of these poisons are generated away from the body, as is the case 
with certain food poisons ; some by bacteria in the intestinal canal that 
do not seek to invade the blood; some by bacteria, like the diphtheria 
bacillus, that first kill tissue, usually of the mucous membranes, and 
then develop in the dead tissue and send the poison into the body. 
And besides this every bacterial disease resolves itself ultimately into 
a process of poisoning — of intoxication. In typhoid fever, in pneu- 
monia, in meningitis and in the multitude of other bacterial invasive 
diseases of man and the lower animals, the severe symptoms are caused 
by the poisons liberated through disintegration of the invading bacteria 
which, however, continue by multiplication to recruit their numbers. 

The condition of susceptibility to poisons varies with different races 
and species, very much as bacterial susceptibility does. The cold- 
blooded animals are indifferent to poisons that are very injurious to* 
warm-blooded animals, but not all cold-blooded animals behave alike. 
Tetanus toxin is alike innocuous for the frog and the alligator; but by 
raising the temperature artificially the frog develops tetanus, but the 
alligator does not. Sometimes the effects depend merely upon the 
mode of entrance of the poison into the body. Tetanus toxin, diphtheria 
toxin and snake venom have no effect on mammals when swallowed 
unless the intestinal epithelium has been injured. These poisons can 
not pass through the epithelium to reach the blood, where alone they 
can exert their action. The toxin of the dysentery bacillus passes 
readily in the rabbit from the blood into the intestine, which it injures, 
but can not pass from the intestine into the blood. Tetanus toxin can 
be injected into the circulation of the hen but does no harm. Injected 
into the brain it produces tetanus. Introduced into the blood it 
remains there for many weeks, hence the failure to act can not be due 
to destruction, but probably is due to inability to pass through the 
blood vessels in order to reach the cells of the central nervous system 
in a sufficient state of concentration. The physiological state of th* 
animal also exerts an influence: certain hibernating species are sus- 



RESISTANCE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE 13 

ceptible to tetanus poison in the summer but not during the winter 
sleep. There exist, therefore, different mechanisms for excluding 
poisons from the sensitive and reacting cells and among them are 
certain quantities of neutralizing, or antitoxic substances, normally 
contained in the blood. We know at least one such definite antitoxin, 
namely, the diphtheria antitoxin, which exists in minimal quantities in 
the blood of man and the horse. 

The absence of numerical relation between the mechanism which 
destroys bacteria and neutralizes poisons sometimes works sad havoc 
for the body. The two capacities may differ naturally or are enhanced 
in different degrees by artificial means. The matter is one of great 
importance because almost without exception all bacterial diseases are 
examples of poisoning. The mechanical obstructions produced by the 
bacterial bodies are relatively unimportant. The body is more readily 
defended from the invasion of bacteria, with very few exceptions, than 
from the effects of their poisons. The capacity to dispose of typhoid 
and cholera bacilli is more easily produced than the power to neutralize 
or otherwise render innocuous the poisons liberated by the dissolved 
bacilli. It is precisely because we have not yet learned how to over- 
come this class of bacterial poisons within the body that we have not 
mastered the bacterial diseases as a whole. There are, however, certain 
bacterial poisons for which adequate antidotes are readily produced, 
thus, for example, for the diphtheria, tetanus, botulism and possibly the 
dysentery poisons. Here the poisons can be more easily neutralized 
than the bacilli can be got rid of, but by neutralizing the poisons we 
succeed in arresting the multiplication of the bacteria and often in 
curing the disease. 

The normal body -possesses a mean resistance to bacterial invasion 
and to bacterial poisoning which, while somewhat fluctuant, is of high 
value except under certain exceptional conditions in which infection 
readily develops. We know that certain general states of and influences 
exerted on the body are associated with a rise or a fall of this mean 
value. But we are not equally informed of the physical basis of this 
rise and fall. This particular topic is peculiarly difficult because of 
the large numbers of factors which enter into it. We know from 
observation that proper clothing, wholesome food, good hygienic sur- 
roundings, avoidance of over fatigue and of depressing psychic impres- 
sions, and that physical care of the body, all contribute toward main- 
taining health as the reverse conditions predispose to establishing dis- 
ease. In seeking the physical basis of this difference we must avoid 
confusing cause with effect. Good hygienic surroundings may act 
chiefly by excluding the sources of infection rather than by enhancing 
resistance. Yet there is experimental as well as observational founda- 
tion for the belief in these general influences to affect the disposition to 
acquire or escape infectious disease. Animals which are made to fast, 
to over-exercise, are made anaemic, are given excessive quantities of 



i 4 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

alcohol and other poisons, or are exposed to abnormal cold by shaving 
of the skin, are more subject to certain infections than animals not so 
treated. If, now, it were found that the blood factors governing resist- 
ance fluctuated with these influences, became smaller and less con- 
spicuous when the influences were bad and larger and more efficient 
when the influences were good, we should then have established an 
important concrete fact. 

But the alexinic activity of the blood varies normally within such 
wide limits that only maximal changes could be regarded as significant, 
and it appears that it is only as the fatal termination of certain severe 
infections are reached — such as experimental anthrax and pneumococcus 
infections, for example — that the alexinic power falls greatly or dis- 
appears altogether. The determination of phagocytic activity outside 
the body has not thus far been carried out in such a manner as to 
indicate a functional depression which either precedes immediately or 
develops in the course of severe infections ; although certain infections 
which take a severe course are characterized by a persistent reduction 
in the number of leucocytes in the circulating blood. This latter phe- 
nomenon must, however, probably be regarded as an effect and not as 
the cause of the infection. There is, however, known at least one 
example where paralysis of the phagocytes leads to a fatal infection 
under conditions in which the normal phagocytes are entirely com- 
petent to prevent infection. If to a guinea-pig a small dose of opium 
be administered and this is followed by the injection of a non-lethal 
quantity of a culture of the cholera bacillus, death will ensue because 
the sensitiveness of the phagocytes to the chemical stimulus exerted by 
the cholera poison has been diminished by the narcotic influence of 
the opium. 

The mean phagocytic value of the blood can, however, be definitely 
raised by certain agencies, that are at the same time and through the 
rise in the number of phagocytes produced, useful in warding off and 
sometimes even in overcoming infection. The means employed to 
bring about an increase of leucocytes, or to establish a hyperleuco- 
cytosis, suffice to maintain the high value for short period relatively 
only, unless the stimulus is frequently repeated. A cold bath, a sun 
bath, the injection into the circulation of a number of simple chemical 
substances — peptone, albumose, nucleinic acid, spermin, pilocarpine — 
are all followed under physiological conditions by hyperleucocytosis 
and by a temporary state of increased resistance to bacterial invasion. 
Moreover, in certain experimental infections, at least, there can thus 
be aroused a heightened power to overcome established infections — 
those caused, for example, by the cholera, meningitis and pneumococcus 
germs. Perhaps the most striking example of the protective influence 
of hyperleucocytosis is afforded by the experimental infection described 
under the name of cholera peritonitis of the guinea-pig. If a fatal 
quantity of cholera germs be injected into the peritoneal cavity of a 



RESISTANCE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE 15 

guinea-pig, symptoms of poisoning quickly set in and death results in 
a few hours. A study of the conditions present in the peritoneal cavity 
shows that the bacteria have developed freely, that some have been broken 
up and disintegrated, and that very few preserved phagocytes can be 
found. Examination of the blood reveals that the number of leucocytes 
in the general circulation has been reduced; and all the evidences point 
to the conclusion that not only has phagocytosis not taken place, but 
that there has been a general destruction of leucocytes produced by the 
cholera poison. If, however, there be introduced into the peritoneal 
cavity of a guinea-pig twelve to twenty-four hours prior to the inocula- 
tion of the cholera bacilli, a small amount of sterile salt solution, or 
bouillon, or one of the other chemicals mentioned, which procedure will 
bring into the peritoneum a considerable number of leucocytes at the 
same time that it causes a rise of leucocytes in the circulating blood, 
then the cholera germs are quickly taken up by the phagocytes, multi- 
plication is prevented, and the animal escapes severe illness. 

The value of hyperleucocytosis as a defensive measure against infec- 
tion must, probably, always remain greater than its value as a cure for 
established infection. There are several reasons that make this con- 
clusion probable : the capacity of the blood is increased in the direction 
of destroying bacteria without being augmented at the same time in the 
direction of neutralizing bacterial poisons; the organism that is 
already severely poisoned by infection reacts less certainly to the chemi- 
cal agents that provoke hyperleucocytosis than the uninfected organism. 
And yet we may see the operation of the benign influence of hyper- 
leucocytosis, associated with an increased passage of alexin-containing 
lymph through the vessels, upon certain local infections at least, in the 
results of measures that determine an augmented supply of blood to a 
diseased part ; in the mechanical hyperemias produced through posture 
or superheated air; the influence (in part) of tuberculin injections; 
and the effects of poultices and embrocations, of counter-irritants, and 
of certain of the phenomena of local inflammation. 

The f acts at our command point to the great potential power of the 
normal organism to resist infection and indicate that the normal 
body possesses the capacity, on demand, to increase this power beyond 
the mean value, chiefly by opposing intending infection by hyper- 
leucocytosis and also, probably, by the strengthening of its plasmatic 
defensive action through the additional soluble alexin substances 
thrown off by the augmented leucocytes. This defensive mechanism 
acts in the same manner on all bacterial invaders and is not specially 
adapted for any one or group of bacteria. The form of activity is 
strictly non-specific. 

Let us now ask ourselves if in overcoming infectious disease, which 
luckily the organism is frequently able to accomplish, the mechanism 
put into operation is similar and only more intense than the one we 
have considered for warding off infection ? The answer to this question 



16 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

is that recovery from infection consists in the bringing into being of a 
new set of phenomena that gradually reinforce the resistance; that 
recovery from infection is accomplished through a process of immuniza- 
tion. The evidences of this condition of immunization are found in the 
appearance in the blood some time between the fourth or fifth to the 
tenth day of the disease, and somewhat later than they have appeared 
in the spleen and bone marrow, of chemical substances which are 
directed in a specific manner to the neutralization of the poisons having 
been and still being produced by the bacterial causes of the disease, to 
the destruction of the bacteria themselves either outright by the plas- 
matic fluid which has now been enriched by a new quantity of inter- 
mediary substance of high potency that may bring the bacteria more 
readily under the dissolving influence of the complement, or by the 
phagocytes to which they are exposed in greater measure through the 
production of opsonins of higher strength and stability. As recovery 
progresses these immunity substances continue to increase until at the 
termination of the disease they are present in quantities that suffice 
often, by a passive transfer to another individual, to protect other ani- 
mals more certainly from an infection, or to terminate abruptly an in- 
fection already established in them. 

When the infectious disease is the expression not of the combined 
effects of poison and bacteria but of the poison chiefly which enters the 
blood, the bacteria remaining without as in diphtheria, then the blood 
changes characterizing the immune state are simpler and consist in the 
accumulation there of antitoxins that constitute the most perfect anti- 
dote to poisons that are known. The condition of immunity produces 
no demonstrable change in the properties of the phagocytes through 
which they are better enabled to overcome the poisonous bacteria. 
They do become, in course of the immunization, more sensitive to posi- 
tive chemotactic stimuli; but it is still an unsettled question whether 
they are altered qualitatively by the immunization, or whether the 
plasmatic changes do not really react upon them and thus increase 
their efficiency. 

It must now be patent that between what may be termed the process 
of physiological resistance and what is termed the condition of immuni- 
zation, a wide distinction exists. The one is non-specific in its action, 
the other highly specific in its effects; the one is subject to a limited 
augmentation, the other may be carried to a high degree of potency and 
perfection; the one often fails to protect the organism in which it is 
developed, the other suffices to protect both itself and another organism. 
If therefore we were to be asked in what manner can the animal 
organism best be reinforced against infection, we should be compelled 
to answer by passing safely through the infection itself. This conclu- 
sion, which has been reached by purely experimental biological methods 
is supported on every side by common observation and experience with 



RESISTANCE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE 17 

the acute infectious diseases of which one attack protects from a sub- 
sequent attack of the same disease. 

It may conduce to clearness if we should enumerate the factors that 
have been described and assigned on the one hand to natural resistance, 
and on the other hand to acquired resistance or immunity. We can 
tabulate the factors in the following manner : 

Natubal ob Physiological Incbeased Natural ob Physiological 

Resistance Resistance 



Alexin 



* complement. 

intermediary body. . 

opsonin. 
b agglutinin. 



' complement, probably increased, 
intermediary body, 
opsonin, 
agglutinin. 



Phagocyte. Phagocyte — increased (hyperleucocytosis). 

Acquired Immunity 
Complement — probably increased. 
Intermediary body — specific one produced. 
Opsonin — specific, stabile one produced. 
Agglutinin — specific one produced. 

f for exotoxin "| 
Antitoxin j for endotoxin j produced. 

Phagocyte — often increased but qualitatively unchanged. 

This tabulation exhibits the distinction between the physical basis 
of physiological resistance and of the state of immunity. There is 
another difference between them; any increase that can be called out 
beyond the mean of physiological resistance is accomplished in a few 
hours; and having been called out to meet a particular condition of 
need of the body and the effect having been exerted, it passes off very 
soon. It is rare that the effect of a hyperleucocytosis can be detected 
for more than three or four days after it has appeared. The develop- 
ment of the state of immunity, on the other hand, is a slow process 
relatively and depends upon the setting into motion of certain cell- 
functions, through which new substances are produced, which, being 
first retained within the cells producing them, eventually are passed 
into the blood. Hence it is that these new substances can be detected at 
an earlier period of the infection in the spleen than in the blood. But 
once they have been produced, the substances endure either for an 
indefinite period, or the capacity to produce new ones of the same sort 
is retained by the organism often for years. The blood may grow weak 
in the typhoid immunity principle in the course of years following an 
attack of typhoid fever, or a rabbit immunized with typhoid bacilli may 
show after a time a great diminution of the blood agglutinins for 
typhoid bacilli ; but the typhoid immunity persists in the one, as in the 
other- minimal quantities of typhoid bacilli will bring out, and without 
the original delay, a new production of agglutinin that will restore the 
lost amount. 

VOL. lxxv.— 2. 



1 8 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

The facts on immunity which I have presented to you constitute the 
physical basis, also, of all artificial methods which are being pursued 
so successfully in preventing certain infections through vaccination, 
and in curing them through the use of immune serum products. The 
facts also account in an eminently satisfactory manner for the sup- 
pression of small-pox by cow-pox vaccination. The " vaccines " 
so-called for bacterial diseases, which are, I might say, at present being 
employed chiefly in protecting animals from epidemic infectious dis- 
eases to which they are much exposed, consist for the most part of 
bacteria either killed outright by heat or chemicals or of bacteria 
whose virulence has been diminished by special methods of cultivation 
or treatment. In human beings this method of vaccination has been 
employed only when large numbers of persons have been exposed to 
infections from the zone or focus of which they could not be removed, 
or from which, owing to the peculiar circumstances surrounding the 
infections, they could not readily or at all be protected by the suppres- 
sion of the diseased germs at their sources. Thus it has been found 
advantageous in a few instances to employ vaccination against cholera 
and bubonic plague, on those especially exposed to these epidemic dis- 
eases, and against typhoid fever on troops going in time of war into 
heavily infected endemic zones of that disease. 

In a few instances this method of vaccination has been successfully 
carried out in animals with infectious diseases in which the germs 
causing them have not been discovered. Thus it is possible to vaccinate 
cattle against the destructive rinderpest of Africa, the Philippines and 
other tropical countries, by employing the bile of animals which have 
succumbed to the infection, which contains the parasite of the disease 
somewhat modified by certain immunity principles contained within it 
along with parasites. In fact, this method of conjoint vaccination 
with the parasite of the disease and the blood containing immunity 
principles is one that offers a considerable field of practical applica- 
tion. On the one hand, there is accomplished a passive immunization 
of the body that becomes operative immediately and, on the other hand, 
a vaccination that after the usual interval leads to the production of a 
state of active immunity that rises to a higher level and is far more 
enduring than the passive state. 

Incidentally we have discovered from this process of mixed or con- 
joint vaccination that immune sera prepared for bacteria or other 
parasites which are not toxin producers in the manner of the diph- 
theria bacillus, but which contain endotoxin, act not especially by 
neutralizing toxins, or by destroying outright the bacteria, but by 
exercising an efficient protective control over the injury which these 
parasites or their poisons tend to inflict on certain sensitive body cells. 
For example, if cattle are inoculated on one side of the body with 
virulent blood from animals dying of rinderpest, and on the other 
side with blood serum taken from animals that have recovered from the 



RESISTANCE TO INFECTIOUS DISEASE 19 

disease and subsequently have had their immunity intensified by in- 
jections of highly virulent blood, the cattle so vaccinated will develop 
rinderpest in a mild form and will subsequently on recovery be also 
immune; and yet during the process of immunization their blood con- 
tains highly virulent parasites so that if a little of it be introduced 
into non-protected and healthy cattle, they will be given rinderpest and 
will die of it. 

The reaction of the body to the bacterial vaccines injected is out 
of proportion to the quantity of culture introduced. Thus two milli- 
grams of dead cholera bacilli injected under the skin of human beings 
will yield enough of the specific immunity substance for these bacilli to 
bring about the destruction of 60,000 or more milligrams of the culture. 
There can be, therefore, no direct transformation of the cholera bacilli 
into immunity bodies, but they must exert a stimulus on certain cell- 
functions through which the immunity . principles are produced; and 
the quantity of their formation depends not on the weight of crude 
bacilli introduced, but on the strength of the stimulus impressed upon 
the sensitive cells to which they react in a specific and remarkable 
manner. 

Is it possible in the course of an established infection to reinforce 
the resistance of the body? I have already stated that it is not prac- 
ticable to bring out at the height of an infection an efficient heightened 
reaction of physiological resistance; but from this it does not follow 
that under these conditions a special form of immunity reaction may 
not be elicited. The tuberculin reaction, or that part of it which is 
specific, may be cited as an example of this kind of reinforcement ; and 
whatever there is of value in the treatment of infectious diseases by 
means of dead cultures of their specific bacteria — " vaccines " so-called 
— must be of the nature of an intensified immunity reaction. What 
is sought to be accomplished in the latter case is the formation in cer- 
tain uninfected localities — in the subcutaneous tissues, for example — 
of immunity principles that afterwards by escaping into the blood 
shall assist in the termination of an infectious process situated else- 
where in the body. Such local foci of immunity as it is designed to 
create in the subcutaneous tissue are not unknown. The pleura can be 
given a local immunity to the typhoid bacilli ; the subcutaneous tissue 
to tetanus toxin, and it is highly probable that the normal resistances 
exhibited by our mucous membranes to the pathogenic bacteria they 
harbor are examples of such local immunities. 

I fear that I have carried you far afield and into somewhat devious 
paths of immunity to disease. You will, I know, not complain and hold 
it to the detriment of medical science, that these paths have not been 
already converted into fine open roads. But you will prefer to recall 
how brief is the time since where the paths now are there were only 
wood and tangle. 



2o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



SOME PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF GYROSTATIC ACTION 

By Pbofessob W. S. FRANKLIN 

LEHIGH UNIVBBSITT 

THE Brennan monorail car and the Schlick device for the prevention 
of rolling of ships at sea have recently attracted popular attention 
to the gyrostat, and gyrostatic action has recently become vitally inter- 
esting to a large group of men because an automobile-engine fly-wheel 
shows serious gyrostatic reactions when the automobile rounds a curve 
rapidly or rises suddenly upon a bump in the road. The following 
discussion will therefore be welcomed by many readers. Let no one 
imagine that gyrostatic action is mysterious and difficult to analyze; 
it is really quite simple 1 and the discussion of Fig. 10 makes this action 
as clear, physically, as the simple inertia reaction of a heavily loaded 
wagon or boat. The formula for calculating the numerical value of 
the torque reaction of a gyrostat, as given at the end of this paper, is 
simple enough for any one to use. 

The rotation of a wheel on an axis is called spin, and the axle upon 
which the wheel rotates is called the axle of spin. The spin of a 

wheel may be completely repre- 
sented in both magnitude and 
direction by an arrow drawn par- 
allel to the axle of spin, pointing 
in the direction in which a right- 
handed screw would travel if 
turned with the spinning wheel, 
and having a length which repre- 
sents the number of revolutions 
per second of the wheel. Thus, 
the arrow S* Fig. 1, represents the spin of the wheel WW. 

Let the arrow £', Fig. 2, represent the spin of a body, imagine a 
large turning force to act upon the body for a short time, and let the 
arrow S" represent the spin which would be produced by the turning 
force if the body had been initially at rest. The actual resultant spin 

x When the angular velocity of precession is small as compared with the 
velocity of spin and when the gyrostat wheel is symmetrical with respect to 
its axis of spin. 

2 To appreciate the geometrical meaning of the arrows 8 f A# and T in the 
vector diagrams given in this paper, the reader should thrust his hand in the 
direction of the arrow head and move the hand as if turning a right-handed screw. 




Fig. 1. 



GYROSTATIC ACTION 21 

of the body will be represented in magnitude and in direction by the 
arrow R* That is to say, after the large turning force has acted for 
a short time the body will be found spinning about £ as an axis, and 
the number of revolutions per second will be represented by the length 
of R. The geometrical relationship between the arrows S', S", and R 
is completely represented in the triangle OMN of Fig. 2, which triangle 
is shown by itself in Fig. 3. 

A turning force is usually called a torque, thus the turning or 



Fio. 2. Fio. 3. 

twisting force which is exerted upon a screw driver is a torque. A 
torque may be completely represented by an arrow drawn parallel to 
the axis of the torque, pointing in the direction in which a right- 
handed screw would travel if turned by the torque, and having a length 
which represents the magnitude or value Fl of the torque to scale. 
Thus the arrow T in Fig. 4 represents the torque due to the two 
forces FF. 

The effect of an unbalanced torque upon a body is to produce a 
spin-velocity about the same axis as the torque, the amount pro- 




t^w> 



Fio. 4. 

duced being proportional to the time the torque continues to act and 
inversely proportional to what is called the moment of inertia of the 
body, (a) The simplest case is where the axis of the torque is parallel 
to the axis of already existing spin as shown in Fig. 5, which represents 
a wheel and axle set spinning by pulling a cord which is wound around 
the axle. In this case the axle of spin remains stationary, and the 
magnitude of the spin increases steadily as long as the torque con- 
tinues to act. (&) The general case is where the axis of the torque 
makes any angle whatever with the axis of the already existing spin. 
Thus, let the arrow 8, Fig. 6, represent the already existing spin of 

•This proposition is entirely correct if by spin we understand that spin- 
momentum is meant; the spin- velocity of a body is sometimes greatly compli- 
cated by its lack of symmetry, and these complications are ignored in the 
present discussion. 



22 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



a body, and let the arrow T represent a torque acting upon the body. 
Then the arrow A# represents the amount of spin produced by T 
during a short interval of time, and the diagonal arrow S' represents 
the actual spin of the body after the torque T has acted for a short 
interval of time. 

(c) The case where the axis of torque is always at right angles to 
the axis of spin is the most important case, and this case is exemplified 
in the ordinary gyrostat, which is a wheel and axle supported in a 





Fio. 6. 

movable frame as shown in Fig. 7. By taking hold of the frame it is 
impossible to exert a torque upon the wheel except about an axis per- 
pendicular to OS, friction at pivots being ignored. If the frame be 
suspended by a string as shown in Fig. 7 (side view), the pull of the 
earth combined with the pull of the string constitutes a torque as indi- 
cated by the arrow T in Fig. 7 (top view). The effect of this torque 
during a short interval of time is to produce a certain amount of spin, 
or spin-momentum, A# about T as an axis, and the resultant axis of spin 



S frame 






frame 



diagram 
(top view) 



top view 



side view 



Fio. 7. 



becomes S' as shown in the diagram Fig. 7. The unbalanced torque 
T, due to the weight of the wheel and frame in Fig. 7, causes the frame 
and wheel to sweep round and round in a horizontal plane about the 
supporting string as' an axis. This kind of motion of an axis of spin 
due to a torque which is at each instant at right angles to the axis of 
spin is called precession, and the axis PP, Fig. 7, about which the 
axis of spin rotates is called the axis of precession. 



GYROSTATIC ACTION 



23 



A familiar form of gyrostat is shown in Fig. 8. It consists of a 
spinning wheel mounted in a metal ring which rests on a pivot 0. 
The pull of the earth on the wheel and ring produces an unbalanced 
torque about an axis which is at right angles to the axis of spin, and 
this torque causes the axis of spin to sweep around the pivot as 
described in connection with Fig. 7. Precessional motion is illustrated 




Fio. 8. 



Fig. 0. 



in the simplest kind of way by the ordinary top. Fig. 9 shows a top 
spinning about an inclined axis S. The weight of the top together 
with the reaction of the floor against the point of the top produces a 
torque the axis of which is at right angles to the plane of the paper 




acceleration 

(backwards \ \ 
acceleration r) 
forwards 



side viewi 



I front \view 



Fio. 10. 



in Fig 9, and the effect of this torque is to cause the axis of spin to 
sweep around the vertical axis PP (the axis of precession). 

The above discussion furnishes a sufficient basis for the considera- 
tion of the various practical aspects of gyrostatic action, but it is 
interesting to see how the precessional motion of the gyrostat in Fig. 



24 



TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



8 (sweeping of axis of spin about a vertical axis through 0) brings 
about inertia reactions of the various particles of the spinning wheel 
which keep the wheel from falling under the pull of gravity; it is only 
necessary to show that to produce precessional motion there must act 
upon the gyrostat-wheel an unbalanced torque (the torque due to the 
pull of gravity upon the overhanging frame and wheel in Fig. 8). 
Fig. 10 represents a disk spinning in the direction of the curved 
arrows (in the front view), the spin being represented by the straight 
arrow 8 in the side view. Imagine the axle of spin to sweep slowly 





■I 



Pig. 11. 



Fio. 12. 



around the vertical line CD in tfie direction of the curved arrows PP. 
This sweeping of the axle of spin about the line CD constitutes pre- 
cessional motion, and CD is the axis of precession. Consider the 
front view of the spinning disk in Fig. 10 ; every particle in the upper 
half of the disk has a component of its velocity towards the right, and 
every particle in the lower half of the disk has a component of it» 
velocity towards the left. After a short interval of time the pre- 
cessional motion moves the edge E of the disk forwards and the edge 
E' of the disk backwards in the figure, so that the velocity of every 
particle in the upper half of the disk is turned slightly backwards and 
the velocity of every particle in the lower half of the disk is turned 
slightly forwards, that is to say, every particle in the upper half of the 



GYROSTATIC ACTION 



25 



disk has received a slight backward component of velocity and every 
particle in the lower half of the disk has received a slight forward com- 
ponent of velocity. Therefore, during the short interval of time, 
every particle of the upper half of the disk must have been gaining 
velocity backwards and every particle in the lower half of the disk 
must have been gaining velocity forwards, so that unbalanced forces 
must have been pushing backwards on every particle in the upper half 
of the disk and pulling forwards on every particle in the lower half of 
the disk, or, in other words, a torque must have been acting about the 
line EE' as an axis as shown by the two arrows FF in the side view. 

Gyro8Tatic Action of the Ply- wheel of the Automobile Engine 

Figs. 11 and 12 show top views of an automobile, the curved dotted 

arrows represent the turning of the automobile around a curve, and the 





t 




Fio. 13. 



Fio. 14. 



straight arrows S represent the spin of the fly-wheel shaft. The arrow 
8 in the vector diagram of Fig. 11 or 12 represents the spin-momentum 
of the fly-wheel at a given instant, the arrow S' represents the spin- 
momentum at a later instant, AS represents the increment of spin- 
momentum, and the arrow T represents the torque which must act 
upon the fly-wheel shaft. 

To produce this torque the bearing a must push upwards on the 
engine shaft and the bearing 6 must push downwards on the engine 



26 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



shaft, or, in other words, the engine shaft must push downwards on the 
bearing a and pull upwards on the bearing b, so that the gyrostatic 
reaction of the fly-wheel causes the outer wheels 00 of the automobile 
to be pushed against the ground excessively as the automobile turns 
round a curve. 

Figs. 11 and 12 represent the case in which the top of the spinning 
fly-wheel is moving forwards, and Figs. 13 and 14 represent the case 
in which the top of the spinning fly-wheel is moving backwards. In 
Figs. 13 and 14 the gyrostatic action of the fly-wheel causes the inner 
wheels II of the automobile to be forced against the ground excessively, 
as may be seen by studying the vector diagrams in Figs. 13 and 14. 





Fio. 15. 



Fig. 16. 



Figs. 15 and 16 represent the case in which the fly-wheel shaft 
is parallel to the length of the car. In Fig. 15 the car is represented 
as turning to the right, the arrow 8 in the vector diagram represents 
the spin-momentum of the fly-wheel at a given instant, 8' represents 
the spin-momentum at a later instant, A*S represents the increment of 
spin-momentum, and T represents the torque which must act upon 
the fly-wheel shaft. To produce the torque T, the bearing a must push 
upwards upon the engine shaft and the bearing b must push downwards 
on the engine shaft, or, in other words, the engine shaft must push 
downwards on bearing a and upwards on bearing 6. Therefore the 



OYROSTATIC ACTION 



27 



front wheels FF of the automobile are pushed against the ground with 
excessive force by the gyrostatic reaction of the fly-wheel in Fig. 15. 
When the automobile is turning to the left, as shown in Fig. 16, the 
gyrostatic reaction of the fly-wheel causes the rear wheels BB of the 
automobile to be pushed against the ground with excessive force. 

When an automobile runs over a bump in the road, no gyrostatic 
action is produced if the engine shaft is crosswise of the car, but 
very severe gyrostatic action may be produced if the engine shaft is 
fore and aft, as shown in Fig. 17. In the vector diagram of Fig. 17, 





nide oirw 



Fio. 17. 



S represents the spin-momentum of the fly-wheel at a given instant, 
S' represents the spin-momentum at a later instant, AS represents the 
increment of spin-momentum, and the arrow T represents the torque 
which must act upon the fly-wheel shaft. In order to produce the 
torque T, the bearing a must push the front end of the engine axle 
to the left (with reference to the driver), and the bearing b must push 
the rear end of the engine axle to the right (with reference to the 
driver) ; or, in other words, the front end of the engine axle pushes to 
the right against the bearing a, and the rear end of the engine axle 
pushes to the left against the bearing b. Thus, there is a tendency for 
the front end of the car to be suddenly thrown to the right, when the 
car rises upon the bump, and the supporting springs of the car body 
are subjected to a skew action which is apt to break them. 

There has been designed and placed upon the market an automobile 
in which the engine shaft is vertical. This obviates all gyrostatic 
action in the turning of curves, but it does not reduce the severe gyro- 
static reactions when the car runs over a bump. 



Gyrostatic Action on Board Ship 
Fig. 18 is a top view of a side- wheel steamer which is represented 
as turning to the right as indicated by the curved dotted arrow. The 
arrow S in the vector diagram represents the spin-momentum of the 
paddle wheels and shaft at a given instant, S' represents the spin- 
momentum at a later instant, AS represents the increment of spin- 



28 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



momentum, and the arrow T represents the torque which must act 
upon the paddle-wheel shaft. To produce this torque the bearing a 

j must push upwards on the crank 
• shaft, and the bearing b must push 
downwards on the crank shaft, or 
in other words, the crank shaft must 
push downwards on bearing a and 
upwards on bearing b, so that the 
gyrostatic reaction of the paddle 
wheels and crank shaft causes the 
boat to list, sinking the side 00 of 
the boat deeper into the water as it 
turns round in the direction of the 
curved arrow in Fig. 18. 

Fig. 19 is a side view of a 
boat driven by a steam turbine and 
propeller. The most serious gyro- 
static action occurs in this case when 
the boat is pitching violently in a 
rough sea, and Fig. 19 is intended 
to represent the bow of the boat as 
rising as represented by the curved 
dotted arrow. Under these condi- 
tions the arrow 8 in the vector dia- 
gram represents the spin-momentum 
of the 6team turbine and propeller 
shaft at a given instant, S f represents the spin-momentum at a later 





^fc£i 



R 



\team 
turbine 




Fio. 19. 



instant, AS represents the increment of spin-momentum, and the 



GYROSTATIC ACTION 



29 



arrow T represents the torque which must act on the propeller shaft. 
This torque is exerted upon the propeller shaft by the bearings as 
indicated by the arrows FF' in the top view, Fig. 20. The high 
speed and great weight of the rotating parts of a steam turbine 
represent a very great spin-momentum (arrows S and fi" in Fig. 19 




FlO. 20. 

very long) so that the increment of spin-momentum AS which corre- 
sponds to a given angular movement of the ship is very considerable, 
and the torque T is great. Therefore the forces FF' in Fig. 20 may 
be very great. These forces are transmitted to the bearings of the 
propeller shaft through the hull of the vessel from the middle and 
forward parts of the vessel, and therefore excessive stresses may be 
brought into existence in the hull. It is supposed that the loss of the 




Fio. 21. 

British torpedo boat Viper several years ago in a rough sea was due to 
this action. 

Figs. 21 and 22 represent the details of the gyrostatic action of a 
high-speed steam engine, such as is used for driving dynamos on board 
ship, the shaft of the engine being athwartship. In Fig. 21 the ship is 
represented as rolling in the direction of the curved dotted arrow, 
and T in the vector diagram represents the torque which must act upon 
the engine shaft. The details of this torque action are shown in Fig. 



3<> 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



22 where the arrows FF in the top view represent the forces with which 
the bearings must act upon the engine shaft to produce the torque T. 



m^M 




















■- - - - 1 




fi 










"Tf r 


w$ 


/,y//\ 




7//7/JM 




tide view 








s _ 


~P 




top view 



Fio. 22. 

Gyrostatic Action of a Rolling Disk 

Fig. 23 represents a penny rolling along a floor. The forces FF 

in the side view (the tendency of the penny to fall over) constitute a 

torque which is represented by the arrow T in the top view. This 

torque produces during a short interval of time an increment of spin- 





top view 

Fig. 23. 

momentum AS which, added to the existing spin-momentum S, gives 
the resultant spin-momentum S' in the direction of which the axis of 
the penny is found to be turned. The result is that the penny rolls 
along a circular path as represented by the dotted curve in the top view, 
Fig. 23. The wheels of a bicycle exhibit a gyrostatic reaction when 



GYROSTATIC ACTION 



31 



./■■V 



n 



the handle bar is turned, and although this gyrostatic action helps to 
maintain the equilibrium of the rider, it is very small in its effect as 
compared with the linear momentum of the rider and bicycle frame. 

Fig. 24 is a top view of an axle 
and pair of drive wheels of a locomo- 
tive rounding a railway curve. The 
arrow S in the vector diagram repre- 
sents the spin-momentum of the axle 
and drivers at a given instant, #' rep- 
resents the spin-momentum at a later 
instant, A# represents the increment 
of spin-momentum, and T represents 
the torque which must act upon the 
axle because of its precession. To 
exert this torque the outer rail must 
push up with an excessive force against 
the outer driver, or, in other words, 
the outer driver must be forced down- 
wards against the outer rail with more 
force than that which is due to the 
locomotive alone as it is rounding a 
curve. That is to say, the gyrostatic action of the drivers of a loco- 
motive exaggerates the excess of pressure on the outer rail while the 
locomotive is rounding a curve. 




Gyrostatic Action of the Boomerang 
The most familiar type of boomerang is a pair of crossed sticks 
twisted very slightly at the ends like the vanes of a windmill. This 
type of boomerang, which we will call the propeller-wheel type, is 
essentially similar in its action to the boomerang of the native Austral- 
ians. The boomerang is thrown through the air with a spinning 
motion about an axis at right angles to the plane of the crossed pair 
of sticks, and the peculiar flight of the boomerang is due to the forces 
exerted upon the boomerang by the air. 

Forces are exerted upon the moving boomerang very much as if it 
were a disk traveling approximately edgewise through the air and forces 
are exerted upon the boomerang by virtue of its propeller-wheel shape 
and because of its combined spinning and edgewise motion. The 
effects of these two sets of forces will be described separately and their 
combined action will then be made use of in explaining the actual 
motion of the boomerang. 

A disk moving approximately edgewise through the air is in an 
unstable condition, if the disk starts to glance to one side or the other 
the air exerts a turning force or torque upon it which tends to turn 



3 2 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



it with its side flat against the air. This may be shown by dropping 
a thin paper disk through the air or by blowing a blast of air against 
a disk which is pivoted about a diameter as an axis. Fig. 25 repre- 




Fio. 25. 



sents a thin metal disk DD which is thrown in the direction of the 
arrow V and at the same time set spinning in the direction of the curved 
arrow S, the thrower standing at MM. Figs. 26 and 27 are top views 




top view 

Fio. 26. 



of the disk. Fig. 26 shows the disk starting to glance to the right 
(with reference to the thrower at M), and Fig. 27 shows the disk 
starting to glance to the left (with reference to the thrower at M). 
This glancing action of the disk causes the air to exert upon the 



t 



I 



top view 

Fio. 27. 



disk a torque about a vertical axis in Figs. 26 and 27, which torque 
is represented by the forces FF in Fig. 26 and by the forces F'F' in 
Fig. 27. This torque would turn the disk flatwise against the air if 
the disk were not spinning, but the effect of the torque on the spinning 



QYROSTATIC ACTION 



33 



disk is to cause precession, the axis of spin of the disk in Pigs. 26 and 
27 turns towards the vertical, bringing the right-hand side (with 
reference to the thrower) of the disk in Fig. 26 upwards and bringing 
the left-hand side of the disk in Fig. 27 upwards. 

Fig. 28 represents a propeller-wheel boomerang. In the following 
discussion the propeller is supposed to be right-handed, that is to say, 
if it were set spinning in the direction of the curved arrow 8 in Fig. 
28, it would blow air towards the reader like a desk fan. Fig. 28 
represents the boomerang as it leaves the hands of the thrower, who 
is supposed to be standing at MM, V being the direction in which the 
boomerang is thrown, and the curved arrow S representing the direction 
in which the boomerang is set spinning. The upper vane of the 




M 



V-Sr 



side view 



Fio. 28. 



boomerang in Fig. 28 is traveling forwards at a greater velocity than 
the lower vane, because the forward velocity of the upper vane is the 
velocity of forward motion of the boomerang plus a forward velocity 
Sr which is due to the spinning motion of the boomerang, whereas the 
forward velocity of the lower vane is the forward velocity of the 
boomerang minus Sr. Fig. 29 is a top view of the boomerang as it 
leaves the hand of the thrower at M , V is the velocity of forward 
motion of the boomerang, and the arrow S represents the spin of the 
boomerang. The arrow F represents the force with which the air 
pushes sidewise against the upper vane because of propeller action. 
A force pushes sidewise in the same 'direction on the lower vane be- 
cause of propeller action, but the sidewise force on the upper vane 
is the greater because of the greater velocity of the upper vane. The 
inequality of these forces constitutes a torque upon the boomerang, 
and this torque is represented by the airow T in Fig. 29. The effect of 
vol. lxxv.— 3. 



34 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



this torque during a short interval of time is to produce an increment 
of spin-momentum AS, and the addition of this increment of spin- 
momentum to the previously existing spin-momentum S gives a re- 
sultant spin-momentum S'. That is to say, the effect of the torque 
T is to cause the axis of spin to sweep around in the direction of the 
curved dotted arrow. 



M *i C 



..l~f-\ 



r 

top view 




Fiq. 29. 

Fig. 30 show6 a view as seen from above of an actual flight of the 
boomerang. The boomerang leaves the thrower at M with its plane 
approximately vertical, and the effect of the torque T of Fig. 29 is to 
cause the axis of spin of the boomerang to sweep about a vertical axis 
as represented by the curved dotted arrow in Fig. 29, thus tending to 
make the boomerang glance around a circular horizontal path. At the 
same time the boomerang acts more or less like a disk as represented 
in Figs. 25 and 27, and this action slowly brings the axis of spin of 
the boomerang into a vertical position (plane of boomerang horizontal) . 
As the plane of the boomerang comes into an approximately horizontal 
position toward the end of its circular flight, the torque which is pro- 
duced by propeller action (see Figs. 28 and 29) produces precessional 
motion which tends to raise the forward edge a and lower the backward 
edge b of the boomerang, thus causing the boomerang to tend to glance 
upwards. This tendency of the boomerang to glance upwards is 
helped by the propeller action of the boomerang, that is to say, the 



QTROSTATIC ACTION 



35 



boomerang, spinning in the direction of the arrows SS, Fig. 30, 
tends to climb upwards through the air. The result is that the curve 
of flight as shown in Fig. 30 is approximately a horizontal circle, the 
drooping of the curve of flight which would normally be produced by 





*+ 







.^^r 



Fig. 80. 



gravity being counteracted by the tendency of the boomerang to 
glance upwards and the tendency of the boomerang to climb upwards 
as specified. 



The Device op Otto Schlick for the Prevention op Rolling op 

Ships at Sea 
Fig. 31 represents a spinning wheel hung upon a vertical axis from 
a hinge which permits the axis to swing to and fro in the plane of 
the keel of the ship (plane of paper in Fig. 31), the lower end of the 
axle being guided between two parallel bars. If the spin-momentum 
of the wheel were sufficiently great, all rolling motion of the ship could 
be eliminated, and the ship would heel over into a position for which 
the average heeling or rolling torque would be equal to zero ; thus, the 



36 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



spin-momentum produced by an unbalanced torque T' would be com- 
pletely absorbed by the precessional motion of the spinning wheel as 
its axis of spin turns in the direction of the curved dotted arrow P', 
and the spin-momentum produced by an unbalanced torque T" would 



whe el %T 

■lilililJlli 



\^^-guide 




+«P" 



Flo. 31. 



be completely absorbed by the precessional motion of the spinning 
wheel as its axis of spin turns in the direction of the curved dotted 
arrow P". 




dash -pot 



wiiiiiimmiwwtk 



Fig. 32. 



To completely hinder the rolling motion of a ship in this way would 
Tequire the use of a very large wheel rotating at high speed. Thus 
a rolling torque (V or T" in Fig. 31) equivalent to 200 tons placed 
10 feet to one side of the axis of the ship and continuing for only one 
tenth of a second would represent the whole amount of spin-momentum 



QYROSTATIC ACTION 37 

contained in a solid steel disk 2 feet thick, 10 feet in diameter and 
rotating at a speed of 144 revolutions per minute; and therefore this 
amount of rolling torque continued for one tenth of a second would 
bring the axle of such a wheel into a horizontal position so that any 
further continuation of the torque would cause the ship to roll. 

The rolling motion of a ship, however, is largely an oscillatory 
motion which is slowly built up by a succession of waves in synchron- 
ism with the proper period of rolling motion, and excessive rolling may 
therefore be prevented by an action which tends to hinder the oscilla- 
tions by friction. A very considerable amount of frictional damping 
may be produced by a moderately small gyrostat arranged as shown 
in Pig. 32 (plane of paper in Pig. 32 is a vertical plane containing the 
keel of the ship). In this case the rolling motion of the ship causes 
the pendant wheel and axle to oscillate to and fro in the plane of the 
keel, and these oscillations are hindered by the motion of a piston in a 
dash-pot as indicated in the figure. 

The Brennan Monorail Car 
Before discussing the Brennan gyrostatic mechanism for main- 
taining the equilibrium of a monorail car, let us consider the action of 
the apparatus shown in Figs. 33 to 36, a gyrostat wheel mounted in a 
frame aa which in turn is pivoted in a larger frame BB, the whole 




Fio. 33. Pia. 34. 

being supported upon two legs, one behind the other, as seen in the 
figures. Standing in the position shown in Pig. 33, the framework 
is acted upon by the unbalanced pull of the earth which produces a 
torque ; the spin-momentum which is continually produced by this torque 
is absorbed by a precessional motion P of the gyrostat wheel as it 



3» 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



turns from the position shown in Fig. 33 to the position shown in 
Fig. 34, and the reaction of this precessional motion produces the two 
forces FF, Fig. 33, which keep the frame from falling over. When 
the gyrostat wheel reaches the position shown in Fig. 34, however, the 
precession ceases and the frame-structure falls over. Standing in the 
position shown in Fig. 35, the framework is acted upon by the 
unbalanced pull of the earth, which produces a torque, the spin- 
momentum which is continually produced by this torque is absorbed 
by the precessional motion P' of the gyrostat wheel as it turns from the 
position shown in Fig. 35 to the position shown in Fig. 36, and the 
reaction of this precessional motion produces the two forces F'F', 
Fig. 35, which keep the frame from falling over. When the gyrostat 





Fig. 35. 



Fig. 36. 



wheel reaches the position shown in Fig. 36, however, the precession 
ceases and the frame-structure falls over. Suppose the handle h in 
Figs. 33 and 34 to be forcibly turned in the direction of the preces- 
sional motion P. This hastened precession causes the reactions FF to 
be more than enough to hold the inclined frame in position, and the 
result is to bring the frame into a vertical position, or, if the precession 
is hastened sufficiently, to throw the frame-structure over into the 
reverse position as shown in Fig. 35, thus starting the reversed preces- 
sion P\ This hastened precession is the essential feature of the 
Brennan gyrostatic mechanism and it is brought about automatically 
as explained in the following discussion. 

The essential features of the Brennan mechanism are shown in Fig. 
37. The car body BB f supports a rocker-axle which is parallel to the 
rail or rope W upon which the car stands. A steel frame FFFF is 
supported upon the rocker-axle 0, and the two gyrostat wheels are 



QYROSTATIC ACTION 



39 



carried in two smaller frames ff and ff which are free to turn about 
the precession axles P and P / . The axles of spin of the gyrostat 
wheels are ss and s's', and these axles project as shown at A and A\ 
The two gyrostat wheels spin in the direction of motion of the hands 
of a clock as seen from the outer ends of the axles of spin A and A\ 
respectively. The precession axles P and P' are geared together by 
sectors of gear wheels and G'. The frame FFFF is hindered from 
turning about the rocker-axis by the tables H, L, W and £'; the 
tables H and U extend backwards from the plane of the paper, and 
the tables L and W extend forwards from the plane of the paper. 







m 



a 



Pia. 87. 

The action of this mechanism is as follows : Suppose side B' of the 
car body to be the heavier. The pull of gravity on this heavier side 
produces spin-momentum about the rail IF as an axis, and this spin- 
momentum is absorbed by the precessional motion of the gyrostat 
wheels, causing both ends of the axles of spin A and A' to move away 
from the reader in the figure. The unbalanced car, however, in tend- 
ing to tip over (side B' overloaded), brings the projecting axle A into 
contact with the table H, the rolling action of the axle A upon the 
table H hastens the precessional motion, and this hastened precession 
raises the side B' and lowers the side B of the car-frame, as explained 



40 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

in connection with Figs. 33 to 36. This action continues until side 
B is heavier than side B', when the reversed unbalanced condition of 
the car body causes a reversed precessional movement of the gyrostat 
wheels. This reversed precession continues steadily and unhastened 
so long as the heavy side B ig balanced by the contact of the idle wheel 
V with the table L', that is, until the projecting ends of the axles of 
spin A and A 1 are brought forwards (in the figure) into the plane of 
the paper. Then the continuation of the reversed precession brings the 
axle A' upon the table W , the reversed precessional motion is then 
hastened, and thi6 hastened precession raises the side B and lowers the 
6ide B' of the car-frame, thus bringing the car-frame into its initial 
unbalanced condition (side B' heavier than side B). The above-de- 
scribed action is then repeated, and so on. 

The stability of the Brennan car is due to the hastened precession 
which is caused by rolling action of one or the other of the projecting 
axles of spin upon the tables H and H', while the axles of spin are 
departing from a line at right angles to the length of the car, and to 
the steady and unhastened precession, while the axles of spin are 
moving towards a line at right angles to the length of the car. The 
hastened precession on the one hand quickly alters the condition of 
balance of the car so as to limit the departure of the axles of spin from 
a line at right angles to the length of the car, and the steady and un- 
hastened precession, on the other hand, insures the complete return of 
the axles of spin to a line at right angles to the length of the car. 

The hastened precession is accomplished with great friction losses 
by the rolling axles A and A 1 in Fig. 37, and it is reported that 
Brennan is working upon an automatic motor-driven mechanism to 
produce the hastened precession without exhausting the energy of the 
gyrostat wheels. 

Two devices like Fig. 37 with their rocker-axles at right angles to 
each other would hold a one-legged body in equilibrium; indeed, such 
a double mechanism would make it possible to use a one-wheeled car, 
but the wheel would have to have a deep double flange to make it roll 
along a rope or rail. Such a one-wheeled car, a sort of hyper-wheel- 
barrow car, would be of no value for practical use, and, indeed, most 
of us believe that Brennan's two-wheeled car is nothing more than 
a scientific toy. 

Calculation op Torque-Keaction Due to Precession 
Let n be the revolutions per second of a spinning wheel, P the 
revolutions per second (or the fraction of a revolution per second) of 
the axis of spin due to the precession, and K the moment of inertia 
of the spinning wheel in pound X feet squared. Then the torque 
reaction is equal to 4* 2 nPK poundal-feet or fa*nPK pound-feet. 4 
* See Franklin and MacNutt'a " Elements of Mechanics," p. 150. 



JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS 41 



JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS AND HIS RELATION TO 
MODERN SCIENCE. Ill 

By FIELDING H. GARRISON, M.D. 

ASSISTANT LIBRARIAN, ABMY MEDICAL LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

Catalysis, Colloids and Chemical Purity. — When chemical change 
can be produced in a system by the mere presence of small quantities 
of another substance which itself usually remains unchanged at the 
end of the process, such an effect is called catalysis and the agent em- 
ployed a catalytic agent. Of the varied aspects of catalytic processes 
we have different examples in the decomposition of substances by the 
presence of finely divided metals like platinum or colloidal nickel, in 
the rapid evolution of oxygen from potassium chlorate when a small 
quantity of manganese dioxide is present, in the solution of insoluble 
chromic chloride through the mere presence of chromous chloride, in 
the inversion of cane sugar by acids, in the saponification of fats and 
esters, in the synthesis of indigo by oxidation of naphthalin, in the 
standard manufacture of sulphuric acid in the leaden chambers and 
the later improvements of the method through the presence of platinum 
or ferrous oxide, in catatyptic photography without light, in the re- 
versible physiologic and therapeutic action of the animal and vegetable 
ferments and enzymes, in the synthesis of nuclein during the develop- 
ment of the embryo, and in the pathologic effects of poisons, venoms 
Mid the toxins of disease. Many theories of catalytic action have been 
advanced, of which the earliest and mo6t original is that of Leibig. 
Liebig supposes catalysis to be due to the fact that the catalytic agent 
has power, like that of a tuning fork, to set up sympathetic molecular 
vibrations in the substance acted upon, producing chemical change. 
This theory has been proscribed by Ostwald because, being a figment 
of the mind, it is neither capable of proof nor susceptible of refutation, 
leading the subject into a blind alley, from which further scientific 
advance is impossible. 101 It has therefore remained, like Hamlet's 
father, " quietly inurned," as a beautiful, imaginative hypothesis which 
we can neither prove nor disprove. Of other theories of catalysis 
the most important is that of Ostwald himself, summed up in his 
famous definition : A catalytic agent is one which modifies the velocity 
of a chemical reaction without appearing in its final process. This 
statement introduces two new ideas, the notion of infinite swiftness 
and infinite slowness in chemical change and the fact that catalytic 
change may be brought about by a series of intermediate reactions. It 
will be seen that Ostwald's definition is elastic enough to include as 

101 Ostwald, "Ueber Katalyse," Leipzig, 1902. 



42 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

catalytic agencies such physical forces as light, electricity, extremes of 
heat or cold or the action of living tissues, and from this point of 
view the explosion of a cartridge or a charge of dynamite by percus- 
sion, the decomposition of water by electrolysis and its synthesis by the 
electric spark, the effects of light in photography and in healing disease, 
the wonderful thermodynamic effects of Henri Moissan's electric fur- 
nace, the occasional changes of food in cold storage, are further exam- 
ples or analogues of catalytic action, and this is all we know of its 
physical nature. As to a dynamic explanation of how catalysis takes 
place, we have not got beyond the familiar jest of the laboratories: 
" Q. What is catalysis? A. Action by contact. Q. What is action by 
contact? A, Catalytic action." Gibbs's treatment of the subject is 
interesting as affording a mathematical criterion of what catalysis is 
and what it is not. It will be remembered that when the entropy of 
an isolated chemical system, say a bar of steel, has attained a maximum 
or its free energy a minimum value, the final state of the substance in 
question has been called by Gibbs a "phase of dissipated energy/' 
implying that it has become physically and chemically inert, so that its 
equilibrium will not be sensibly disturbed by the presence of other 
substances or by such small physical agencies as an electric spark. But 
when the proportion of the proximate components of the substance in 
connection with its pressure and temperature is such that it does not 
constitute a phase of dissipated energy, the contact of a very small 
body or physical agency may produce energetic changes in its mass 
which do not stop short of complete dissipation. This is catalysis, and 
Gibbs's definition of a catalytic agent — one capable of reducing a sub- 
stance to a phase of dissipated energy without limitation as to their 
relative proportions — is characteristic of the mathematician. A chem- 
ical system at constant temperature has several states of equilibrium 
corresponding to different minima of its isothermal potentials, and on 
the solid diagrams of Gibbs these minima are valleys at the bottoms of 
sloping curves. The effect of a catalytic agent on the diagram is to 
obliterate the ridge between two depressions representing different 
states of equilibrium on the free energy surface. This means that a 
system disturbed by a catalytic agent may pass from a higher to a 
lower minimum of free energy, but never from a lower to a higher 
unless acted upon by external forces of considerable magnitude. 
When the lowest minimum of free energy, indicated by the lowest 
depression on the diagram, has been attained, the substance can no 
more leave the final phase of dissipated energy than an inert body can 
be made to go up a hill without the intervention of external forces. 
On Gibbs's showing, the phase of dissipated energy is the criterion of 
catalytic action, the condition for which is that the substance acted 
upon should not have attained such a phase, while the forces operating 
flow, as in other mechanical, thermal, chemical or electric happenings, 
from higher to lower potentials. The accuracy of this reasoning is 



JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS 43 

borne out by Emil Fischer's researches in structural chemistry, which 
show that the intrinsic stability of chemical systems is usually such 
that it can not be disturbed by "intramolecular wobble/' chemical 
change being brought about by extramolecular or catalytic influences. 
The mathematical treatment of catalysis gives us a deeper insight into 
phenomena which no one has as yet succeeded in explaining. " We have 
not," says Bancroft, "the first suggestion of an adequate theory of 
catalysis " so essential to a better understanding of chemistry and of 
life itself. A true theory of catalysis will enable us to solve the prob- 
lem of the transmutation of the elements, of which we have already 
had examples in the substances derived from radium, and the recent 
derivation of tellurium from copper by Sir William Eamsay. The 
action of animal and vegetable protoplasm is probably catalytic and 
the chemist can now make some vegetable substances, such as indigo 
or alizarine, more cheaply and purely than the plants themselves do. 
Could we substitute inorganic catalyzers for the vegetable enzymes and 
f erment8 in all cases, we might, as Bancroft points out, duplicate every- 
thing except the plant itself. Eecently Loeb has interpreted the fact 
that some eggs can be developed by osmotic pressure alone, while others 
require fertilization, by the explanation that, in the former class the 
nuclein synthesis, which is necessary for segmentation, is started within 
the nucleus as a catalytic process, one of the products of the reac- 
tion being the catalyzer itself; while eggs requiring fertilization are 
such that the necessary nuclein synthesis must be started by some 
external catalytic agency. 102 Again catalysis is the key to the causes 
and treatment of infectious diseases, the toxins and antitoxins of which 
are probably colloidal catalytic agents. A few drops of such a colloid 
as cobra venom will rapidly reduce a living animal body to a definite 
phase of dissipated energy, as far as its vital activity (or "free en- 
ergy ") is concerned, and such catalysts as colloidal metals, which 
Bredig has shown to act exactly like the ferments and enzymes, can 
themselves be " poisoned " or rendered inert by other substances, just 
as toxins, venoms and poisons can be neutralized by antitoxins or other 
antidotes. Gibbs did not discuss colloids explicitly, because substances 
of such indefinite or irregular formation do not admit of mathematical 
treatment as such, but the physics of what we know of their intimate 
structure is implicit in his chapters on chemical conditions obtaining 
at surfaces of discontinuity. Colloids are semi-solid substances, and 
colloidal solutions are " pseudo-solutions," being suspensions of minute, 
discrete particles of matter which are not true solutions, in that they 
obstruct the passage of light, while neither the freezing point nor the 
vapor tension of the solvent can be sensibly lowered. Graham thought 
of colloids as dynamic phases of matter, possessing internal energy, while 
crystalloids are static and inert. The former include reversible colloids 
like gelatine which, heated with warm water, will upon cooling solidify 
"•Loeb, Science, 1907, N. S., XXVI., 425-37. 



44 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

into a " gel," and redissolve upon heating into a colloidal solution or 
" sol " ; and irreversible colloids, which, when heated with warm water, 
will coagulate at once into an unchangeable precipitate. Living pro- 
toplasm, as Darwin has shown in his experiments upon Drosera and 
other plants, 108 acts exactly like a reversible colloid. Dead protoplasm, 
such as a coagulated blood clot, is an irreversible colloid consisting of 
a fixed network, the meshes of which contain the " sol." There is no 
evidence of internal structure in living protoplasm, and Hardy supposes 
that structure in dead protoplasm is produced by submortem or post- 
mortem changes associated with coagulation. Whether the phase rule 
can be applied to colloids is still an open question bound up with the 
complex nature of bodies of which we know so little. But recently 
Siedentopf and Zsigismony have shown that colloidal metals, organic 
ferments and enzymes are systems in two phases of vast surface tension 
consisting of suspensions of ultra-microscopic particles acted upon by 
chemical, thermodynamic and electric potentials. Of such suspensions 
animal and vegetable bodies are largely made up, protoplasm being a 
sort of microscopic emulsion, the physiological action of which seems 
to be bound up with chemical, thermal, electric and osmotic changes 
between its semi-permeable membranes and surfaces of discontinuity 
and the various surface tensions and surface energies derived from the 
free energy of chemical or electric change. If we conceive of colloidal 
solutions as made up in this way, each tiniest particle being an ultra- 
microscopic furnace, retort or battery in itself and carrying a definite 
charge of electricity, we can understand how Liebig's theory of sympa- 
thetic vibrations might be applicable to colloidal catalysis at least, and 
how finely divided metals, serpent venoms or the excretions of micro- 
organisms can produce the extraordinary effects they do. In close 
connection with the theory of catalysis is the nature of chemical purity 
and the fact that chemical changes rarely proceed directly to their final 
product, but usually pass through a series of intermediate stages. For 
a long time chemists have noticed that absolutely dry or pure sub- 
stances will not interact directly upon each other, but the cooperation 
of a third substance is necessary for chemical change. Dried chlorine 
does not of itself act upon copper and other metals, but the presence 
of a little moisture will cause it to act upon them at once. A mixture 
of carbonic acid and oxygen is not explosive when thoroughly dry, but 
the slightest trace of steam will cause an explosion. The rapid solu- 
bility of zinc in sulphuric acid depends upon impurities in the former. 
Ebullition depends largely upon gaseous impurities in the boiling sub- 
stance. Absolutely pure or distilled water has no digestive value, but, 
by its absorptive power, acts as an irritant or poison to the lining 
membrane of the stomach. Traces of moisture or other impurities 
have therefore a marked catalytic effect, a theory of catalysis which 
was first advanced as early as 1794 by Mrs. Fulhame in her "Essay 
m Darwin, " The Power of Motion in Plants," passim. 



JOSIAH WILLARD QIBBS 45 

on Combustion." Where water is the impurity, thermodynamic 
change is supposed to be due to electrolysis: the moisture being the 
necessary third ingredient for producing a little Voltaic circuit and 
the electric shock precipitating chemical action as in catalysis. The 
phase rule, Bancroft reminds us, has taught us to look upon an abso- 
lutely pure substance, 100 per cent, strong, as the extreme case of a 
two-component system, in which the concentration of the second com- 
ponent approaches zero as its limit. Gibbs has shown that in a system 
of two phases, one component of which is very small, the chemical 
potential of the dilute component is proportional to the logarithm of 
its density. As the density of the smaller component becomes less and 
less, its potential tends to an infinite value, 104 which means that, at the 
limit, when concentration becomes evanescent, "the removal of the 
last traces of any impurity would demand infinite expenditure of avail- 
able energy." 105 From the view-point of mathematical chemistry there 
are many chemical substances that are relatively and approximately 
pure, but absolute purity of a chemical nature is, in Whetham's dictum, 
a more often a pious dream than an accomplished fact." 106 

Ideal Oases and Qas-Mixtures. — It is in the physics of gases that 
the application of the molecular theory has proved most successful and 
the laws and equations relating to gaseous states are of considerable 
accuracy owing to the fact that practically all gases act alike. Al- 
though Gibbs made no explicit assumptions as to molecular dynamics, 
his treatment of gaseous states agrees so well with the kinetic theory 
that Boltzmann thought he must have had the latter constantly before 
his mind in framing his fundamental equations. 107 These equations 
are unique in that Gibbs subjected them to an unusual test of accuracy 
by comparing their calculated densities of gas mixtures with converti- 
ble components with the actual measurements for nitrogen peroxide, 
acetic and formic acids and phosphorus perchloride 108 by Sainte-Claire- 
Deville, Horstmann and others. In the case of nitrogen peroxide the 
difference between the observed and calculated densities scarcely ex- 
ceeded .01 on the average and was not greater than .03 in any case. 100 
The agreement between the theoretical and actual values was equally 
striking for the other gases, and these results are among the most 
accurate and satisfactory in the history of physical chemistry. Inter- 
esting features of this section of Gibbs's work are his interpretation of 

m Tr. Connect, Acad., III., 194-7. 

"•Larmor, "Encycl. Britan.," 10th ed., XXVIII., 169. 

** Whetham, " The Recent Developments of Physical Science," Philadelphia, 
1904. 

m Aus vielen Stellen geht deutlich hervor, dass Gibbs auch diese molekular- 
theoretische Anschauung fortwahrend vor Augen hatte, wenn er auch von den 
Gleichungen der Molekularmechanik keinen Gebrauch machte." Boltzmann, 
"Vorles. fiber Gastheorie," Leipzig, 1898, II., 211. 

-•Gibbs, Am. J. So., 1879, 3. s., XVII., 277, 371. 

"• Tr. Conned. Acad., II., 240. 



46 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Dalton's law as implying that "every gas is as a vacuum to every 
other gas," 110 his anticipation of vanH HoflPs equation in the form of 
Henry's law for dilute solutions of gases in liquids 111 and his genial 
discussion of gas-mixtures, known in Germany as, 

The Paradox of Qibbs. 112 — If two different gases which can be 
separated reversibly by quicklime or other process are allowed to mix, 
a certain definite amount of work or available energy will be gained; 
but if two gases, which are in every respect identical, are allowed to 
mix, they could not be separated by any reversible process and there 
would consequently be no gain of available energy in their mixing nor 
any dissipation of energy (increase of entropy). But if we suppose two 
gases which differ only infinitesimally to mix, the first condition would 
still obtain and there would still be a certain gain of available energy. 
The question arises, what will happen if we proceed to the limit? Max- 
well explained this paradox by saying that our ideas of dissipation of 
energy depend upon the extent of our knowledge of the subject. Could 
we invoke Maxwell's demon and borrow his gift of molecular vision, 
we should perceive that when two identical gases mix there is in reality 
a complete dissipation of energy, which the demon's intelligence might 
turn into available energy if he liked ; for " it is only to a being in the 
intermediate stage who can lay hold of some forms of energy, while 
others elude his grasp, that energy appears to be passing inevitably 
from the available to the dissipated state." 118 In the reasoning of 
energetics, the paradox is explained by saying 114 that the more nearly 
alike the gases are, the slower will be the process of diffusion, so that 
work or available energy might indeed be gained, but only after the 
lapse of indefinite or infinite time, if we have such time at our disposal. 

Theory of Capillarity, Liquid Films and Interfacial Phenomena. — 
There are two important theories of capillary action, that of Laplace, 
based upon the assumption that the play of molecular forces in a liquid 
is only possible at insensible or ultra-micrometric distances, and that 
of Gauss, based upon the doctrine of energy. Gibbs's exhaustive dis- 
cussion of capillarity, which takes up at least one third of his memoir, 
is the thermodynamic or chemical completion of the purely dynamic 
theory of Gauss. A capillary film or interfacial layer forms a new 
"phase" between the two substances on either side of it, and the 
mathematical condition for the formation of a new chemical substance 
at such an interface or " surface of discontinuity " is expressible as an 
algebraic relation between the surface tensions of the three layers of 
substance and the pressure of the three phases, 115 the surface tensions 

™ Ibid., 218. 

™ Ibid., 194-7, 226-7. 

™Ibid., 227-9. 

"* Maxwell, " Encycl. Britan.," 9th ed., VII., 220, sub voce "Diffusion." 

u *Larmor, "Encycl. Britan.," 10th ed., XXVIII., 171. 

u§ Tr. Connect. Acad., III., 391-416. 



JOSIAH WILLARD QIBBS 47 

being functions of the temperature and the chemical potentials. The 
only stable substance which can be formed between two other phases 
will be the one having the least surface tension. 116 The chemical equi- 
librium of solids in contact with liquids, including the delicate mathe- 
matical conditions for the formation of crystals in mother liquor, is 
treated dynamically as a matter of stresses and strains, and this together 
with the theory of interf acial formations and liquid films will embrace 
the possible physics of colloid substances. Gibbs gives for the first 
time a mathematical discussion of the mode of formation of liquid 
films and the conditions for their stability and his dynamic explana- 
tion of the black spots on soap films 117 was proved quantitatively in 
1887 by Beinold and Buckets micrometric data of the relations be- 
tween the thickness and surface tension of these films. 118 The impor- 
tance of liquid films in biology is obvious, and this phase of Gibbs's 
theory, which is capable of the widest development, has as yet received 
the slightest attention. 

Electrochemical Thermodynamics. — One of the most important 
features of energetics is Gibbs's theory of the galvanic cell which shows 
the close interrelation existing between chemical, thermal and electric 
energy. The earliest pioneer in this field was Lord Kelvin, and, prior 
to 1878, physicists had accepted the Joule-Kelvin theory that the electro- 
motive force of a galvanic apparatus is the mechanical equivalent of 
the total chemical energy liberated per unit strength in unit time. But 
this view, which implies that all the electric energy of a chemical cell 
is available, did not agree entirely with the experimental data of Boscha, 
Baoult and others. It was corrected and modified by Gibbs, who 
showed that the electromotive force of the cell is in reality its free 
energy per electrochemical equivalent of decomposition, 110 from which 
it follows that neither solidification nor fusion of the metals at the 
temperature of liquefaction should cause any abrupt alteration of the 
electromotive force. In 1882, six years later, this important theorem 
was rediscovered from a different view-point by Helmholtz and bril- 
liantly developed as to experimental confirmation. 120 The Gibbs Helm- 
holtz doctrine enables the physicist to trace out the variations in electro- 
motive force due to chemical differences in different cells. In a letter 
to Professor Bancroft, now printed in the memorial edition, Gibbs 
connects the mathematical part of his theory of the electric cell 
with the fundamental principles of physical chemistry, the theories of 
van't Hoff and Arrhenius, Nernstfs osmotic theory of the Voltaic cell 

"•/M<f., 403. 

m JWd., 479-81. 

m Phil Tr., 1887, CLXXVn., 627, 684. 

m "The quantities of the different substances combined in connection with 
the passage of a unit electricity are called the electrochemical equivalents of 
these substances." Bryan, " Thermodynamics," 164. 

m Helmholtz, Bitzungsb. d. Berl Akad., 1882, 22 et seq. 



48 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

and the equations of Ostwald and van der Waals. 121 But perhaps his 
most important contributions to the theory of electricity are the two 
papers on electrochemical thermodynamics which he sent to the British 
Association in 1886 and 1888; Helmholtz, in his well-known formula 
for electromotive force, gives a relation such that if a cell be set up, 
and the reversible heat measured, the electromotive force need not be 
measured, but may be calculated from these data, or vice versa. In 
Gibbs's rendement of the perfect (or reversible) galvanic cell, both the 
electromotive force and the reversible heat can be predicted from his 
equation without the necessity of setting up any cell at all. "Pro- 
duction of reversible heat," says Gibbs, "is not anything incidental, 
superposed or separable, but belongs to the very essence of the opera- 
tion." 122 In discussing the matter in 1887, Sir Oliver Lodge raised the 
question whether Professor Gibbs was not regarding a galvanic cell as 
" too simply a heat engine " or assuming that the union of the elements 
in a cell primarily produces heat and secondarily propels a current. 128 
Gibbs replied that "in supposing such a case we do not exceed the 
liberty usually allowed in theoretical discussions" and proceeded to 
show, in an ingenious demonstration, that Helmholtz's equation flows 
as a natural consequence from his own earlier results. 124 The accuracy 
of his reasoning is sustained by such developments of the subject as 
the " Peltier effect," in which it is demonstrated that the thermoelectric 
effect in systems of conductors, in which no chemical action takes place, 
is still proportional to the absolute temperature at any junction. In 
general the properties of a thermoelectric system are determined by the 
entropy function, and the entropy and energy in a thermoelectric net- 
work are not, as previously supposed, stored in the conductors, but, as 
we see in the electric transmission of motor power from a waterfall 
like Niagara to an engine or railway car, actually travel with the 
moving charge of electricity itself. In short, " entropy can be located 
in an electric charge." 125 

Such are a few of the mathematical and physical consequences flow- 
ing from the single idea of entropy, and they are sufficient to define the 
position of Gibbs in the history of thermodynamics. In the establish- 
ment of the dynamical theory of heat, says Larmor, "The name of 
Carnot has a place by itself; in the completion of its earlier physical 
stage the names of Joule and Clausius and Kelvin stand out by common 
consent; it is, perhaps, not too much to say that, by the final adaptation 
of its ideas to all reversible natural operations, the name of Gibbs takes 
a place alongside theirs." 126 

m See Bancroft, J. Phys. Chem., 1903, VII., 416-427. 

m " Report British Association for the Advancement of Science," 1886, 388. 

m Loo. cit. 

** " Report British Association for the Advancement of Science," 1888, 343-6. 

m See Bryan, " Thermodynamics," Leipzig, 1907, 174, 198. 

*" Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond., 1905, LXXV., 292. 

(To be oontinued) 



A REVOLUTION IN DENTISTRY 49 



A KEVOLUTION IN DENTISTKY 

By RICHARD COLE NEWTON, M.D. 

HAVE the dentists waked up ? Some of them have. A new order 
of the " Knights of the Forceps " has been formed, called the 
" Orthodontists " (tooth straighteners) . At last accounts there were 
sixty of them in America, as compared to 50,000 simple dentists. And 
what does it all mean ? If I can compress a great deal of information 
into a limited space I can, perhaps, explain it and I think that it may 
be possible to make it clear why the movement is so important. 

Dr. Osier has said that the question of preserving the teeth is more 
important than the liquor question. When one reflects that a great 
deal of intemperance is caused by dyspepsia, with its mental and phys- 
ical deterioration, and that the underlying cause of much of the gen- 
erally prevalent dyspepsia is the decayed and defective teeth, which 
preclude complete mastication of the food (even if anybody in America 
had the time to eat properly), the solid truth of Dr. Osier's remark 
begins to dawn upon us. 

Now the dentists, like the doctors, have begun to realize that their 
true mission is not " a general repairing business," but a systematic and 
well-considered effort to prevent and forestall the wholesale decay and 
loss of human teeth. Perhaps some idea of the very general use of 
false teeth may be gathered from the statement that 20,000,000 of them 
are exported from America to England every year. When we consider 
that probably not more than half of the inhabitants of that country 
indulge in the luxury of false teeth, no matter how many " grinders " 
they may have lost, these figures would seem to indicate that nearly 
every one in England suffers from defective or missing teeth. Observa- 
tions so far as they have been carried in the United States show the 
same deplorable state of affairs. 

A great many more or less ingenious explanations have been ad- 
vanced from time to time, to account for this, as well as for the fact 
that so few Americans have regularly disposed teeth and well-shaped 
jaws. Our English friends have made much sport of our " hatchet 
faces," " lantern jaws " and the nasal tones of our voices. We are told 
that such an admixture of races, as is gradually taking place in our 
country, is the cause of our poor teeth. Nobody seems to know why it 
should be so. In fact, such a result is directly opposite to nature's 
beneficent course in admixtures of different races and species, where 

vol. lxxv. — 4. 



5o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

the tendency is to preserve the best and strongest features and eliminate 
the weak and faulty ones. I remember an elaborate article in some 
magazine, some years ago, which explained the great prevalence of poor 
teeth in America by saying, that they are caused by our habit of shaving 
our faces, while the orientals have sore and weak eyes because they 
shave their heads. The filth in which the latter live was not taken 
into account, nor the fact that the American women, who do not shave, 
have as bad teeth as the men. 

A rather ingenious explanation of the marked disproportion between 
the size of the teeth and that of the jaw in many Americans, as for 
example, large teeth in small jaws, so that the former are crowded out 
of position and overlap one another, is that the big teeth are inherited 
from one parent and the small jaws from the other. This sounds plaus- 
ible and since no systematic effort has, so far as I know, been made to 
find out the truth of the matter, it has been tentatively accepted for 
want of a better explanation of an exceedingly common phenomenon. 

Recently some good observers, notably Dr. Sim Wallace and Dr. 
Harry Campbell, of England, have said that the trouble is not hered- 
itary at all, but begins in each person's babyhood, and that our teeth 
are poor and irregular and our jaws contracted because we do not exer- 
cise these parts sufficiently from infancy to manhood; especially from 
^weaning until six years of age, when the permanent teeth begin to 
«rupt. In support of this statement they point out that the first set 
of teeth is practically never irregular, never overlaps and is very seldom 
defective. The beautiful lines of a baby's face are not distorted by 
irregular or protruding teeth, nor sunken by reason of the non-support 
of sufficiently wide jaws. The teeth of savages, Hottentots and Esqui- 
maux are almost invariably excellent, and their jaws and tongues are 
wider and stronger than ours. This has been proved by the measure- 
ment of thousands of skulls as well as by observations upon the living 
inhabitants of the tropics and the arctic regions. 

Dr. Campbell also points out that the frequent occurrence of 
adenoids in young children is caused by feeding them chiefly " pap." 
He calls this the " pap age." The good old-fashioned plan of chewing 
sufficiently hard and dry food to properly exercise and develop the jaws 
and teeth, seems to have been abandoned in our effete civilization. 
Instead of the honest " johnny cake " (called in the south " corn pone " 
or " hoe cake ") upon which such sturdy characters as Andrew Jackson 
and Abraham Lincoln were wont to subsist — and, by the way, the 
American negro had good teeth and practically escaped tuberculosis so 
long as he lived upon simple corn bread and bacon and the vegetables 
and fruits from the plantation. I started to say, however, instead of 
corn bread and Boston brown bread and rye and " injun " bread, the 
breads of our grandfathers, which required mastication and insalivation 



A REVOLUTION IN DENTISTRY 51 

before they could be swallowed, our children now are fed on "pre- 
viously cooked " breakfast foods, infant foods and other starchy viands, 
which may differ in name and flavor; but agree in two characteristics, 
viz., that they pander to lazy housekeeping, by requiring very little 
preparation for the table, and, secondly, require little or no mastication, 
before swallowing. Wetted with milk or cream they " slip down " very 
easily, and are landed in a stomach not prepared for a deluge of 
unchewed and non-insalivated starchy food. Hence the common cry 
of "starch indigestion." This is not wonderful because the proper 
digestion of starchy food must begin in the mouth, and is impossible 
without complete mastication. We are told in Science that in feeding 
meal to calves, " it must be spread" thinly upon the bottom of the 
troughs so that it will be eaten slowly and insalivated." This is only 
one instance out of many where man's commercial instinct has taught 
him an invaluable truth in regard to the rearing of stock, that has a 
market value, but which it never seems to have occurred to him is just 
as important in connection with the rearing of his own children. 

So far as the improper development or non-development of our 
teeth, jaws, tongues and lips is concerned, the trouble begins with the 
nursing bottle from which the infant gets its nourishment too easily 
and too rapidly, so that these important structures are all more or less 
undeveloped, and this non-development is a continuous performance 
up to adult life. Of course removal of adenoids, regulation of the 
teeth, boring out the nasal cavities and so on, are resorted to with great 
benefit, to obviate defects that should have been prevented by mothers 
nursing their babies and then making the children chew their food as 
nature intended them to do. If a child will not chew its food, the 
despised habit of chewing gum, now known to have prevailed among 
the Indians, should be encouraged. 

Dr. Bobinson, an English writer, calls attention to the development 
of the jaws of English boys who were taken out of the streets of London 
and sent into the British navy. He says "undoubtedly the most 
noticeable improvement in them, next to their superior stature and 
healthy appearance, was the total change in the shape and expression 
of their faces. On analyzing this, one found that it was to be mainly 
accounted for by the increased growth and improved angle of the lower 
jaw." This change was due to the rations of " hard tack " and " salt 
junk" upon which these lads had subsisted. A very satisfactory diet 
from an orthodontological point of view at least. It is plain enough 
that ninety per cent, of dental work might have been avoided ; just as 
ninety per cent, of the sickness and premature death in the world is 
needless and could be prevented. The dentists have made the aston- 
ishing discovery that they can alter and enlarge the jaws of any child 
by simple means and they have found out, moreover, that the teeth 



52 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

themselves and their arrangement are the pattern from which the jaw 
takes its shape. The teeth in different skulls differ so much, that it is 
extremely difficult, if not impossible, to " match " a missing tooth in 
one jaw with a tooth from any other one. The natural teeth then 
have an individuality in keeping with each particular face, and when 
they are in good condition and in their proper position, can not but 
add to the beauty, dignity and symmetry of the face. Three people 
out of four seem to lack in the proper development of the lower part of 
the face by reason of defective and misplaced teeth, and weak and ill- 
developed jaws. Hence we see that the " man of destiny," " the man 
with firm jaw, who knows his own mind," is presumably one who was 
made to chew properly in childhood, and was not allowed to wash down 
his food half chewed, or unchewed by gulps of liquid. 



Before. After. 

It is not true, that the teeth must fit into the jaws; the reverse is 
true, the jaws form themselves around the teeth. The bone grows 
around the roots of the teeth and forms a socket like the mortar or 
cement around the bricks in a fire-place. This is easily demonstrated; 
a tooth, for example, can be completely turned round or moved from 
one place to another, and, as we say, it grows " fa?t." For that matter, 
teeth, as is well known, can be extracted, cleaned and put back again, 
or teeth from one persons mouth can be put into the place of an 
extracted tooth in another's mouth and become firmly imbedded and 
do good service for years. The part of the jaw-bone that embraces the 
roots of the teeth is called the alveolar process, and it continues to grow 
and harden for some time after the teeth have been erupted, or after 



A REVOLUTION IN DENTISTRY 53 

they have changed their places in the jaw. Upon this elemental truth 
is founded the art of orthodontia. Were the facts not as stated, it 
would do no good to alter the positions of teeth, since they would not 
retain their new positions after they had been moved into them. The 
fact that the jaws can be widened by spreading the teeth, taken in 
conjunction with the adaptibility of the " alveolar " process, make the 
remarkable results of the orthodontist possible. The size, shape 
and strength of the lower jaw, or mandible, depend in great part upon 
the work it has to do, and furthermore, the shape of the upper jaw is 
determined by that of the lower. The lower permanent teeth are 
erupted first, and by their repeated impactions upon their opponents 
in the upper jaw, aided by the constant restraining and forming action 
of the tongue and lips gradually force the upper teeth into their proper 



After. Before. 

places and keep them there. Provided, that the lower jaw and the 
tongue and lips are strong and well developed, made so by sufficient 
chewing, especially from the years of two to six, in a child's life. If 
the child's education in chewing, however, has been neglected, the 
dentist can and does spread the jaw as already stated, so that it will 
have room enough for all the teeth. In other words, orthodontia does 
what nature would accomplish unaided were her simple laws of devel- 
opment properly observed. 

A full set of teeth forms a beautiful arch, no stone of which should 
be missing. The shape and span of this arch are greatly determined 
by the size and position of the four permanent first molars, " six-year- 
old molars," the largest and most important teeth in the head. If 
these teeth are properly disposed in the jaws, the regulation of the 



54 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

remaining teeth is much easier than otherwise. If they are out of 
place, they must be brought back to where they belong, because it is 
essential that they should be in their proper position and serve as the 
guides for the regulation of all the other teeth. Then by measuring 
the width of one of the eye teeth and the two front teeth next to it, 
a diagram can be drawn which will show the exact shape and size which 
the jaw should have. A very simple arrangement of springs and wires, 
which need hardly annoy the child at all, will soon spread the jaws and 
give the teeth room, so that those that are out of alignment can be 
brought into their proper places in the arch. 

In this arch, like the arch of a bridge over a stream, every tooth 
must bear its proper share of the pressure, and its loss can never be 
replaced. A moment's reflection will show the folly of extracting teeth 
to make room for those out of alignment, and modern dentistry has 



Before. After. 

proved that such extraction will defeat the object for which it is under- 
taken, viz., the restoration of the perfect denture. A man who will 
extract a tooth in regulating may be foolishly clinging to the old tradi- 
tion, that was spoken of just now, that the unfortunate child had in- 
herited large teeth from one parent, and small jaws from the other. 
I remember, by the way, in my own boyhood, I seriously thought that 
I had by mistake got somebody else's teeth, because my permanent 
teeth were so large and broad, that my jaws could not accommodate 
them, and were so crowded that several were extracted to make more 
room. Now I know that my " hatchet face " and " lean jaws " might 
easily have been prevented had some modern orthodontist, who would 
die before he would extract a sound tooth, given me the proper advice 
and care. 



A REVOLUTION IN DENTISTRY 55 

A little patient of my own (see photograph) was told by her dentist 
that her upper front teeth would have to be extracted, as they protruded 
so that she could not close her mouth. On hearing this, I was simply 
horrified. I induced the parents to consult a competent orthodontist, 
with the result that on meeting the child on the street about three 
months afterwards (see photograph), I didn't recognize her. Here are 
two pictures of a dentist's son " before and after taking " a course of 
treatment. His father regulated his teeth. 

In orthodontia an inconceivably great advance has been made in 
preserving human beauty, health and efficiency. And the people who 
have been bewailing nature's inadequacy and asserting that our rac^ is 
gradually deteriorating so that the coming man will be " edentulous " 
(toothless) are asked to take a back seat. They belong in the same 
category with the people in Philadelphia, who objected to opening some 
playgrounds to children, because the latter shouted when they played. 
Just as if play without shouting could be any good for young children; 
even in Philadelphia. 

A great and beautiful truth has been taught us by these ortho- 
dontists. Every good man, every religious man, and every one who 
rejoices in beauty, in symmetry, in efficiency and in the comforting 
reflection that nature does not make mistakes — man makes the mis- 
takes, and is sometimes blasphemous enough to lay the blame upon 
God — ought to rejoice at the clear proof that there was no mistake 
made in allotting thirty-two teeth to an adult human being. That the 
properly shaped jaw can hold all of these teeth, and that modern ideas 
of the fitness of things demand a full complement of teeth in a properly 
shaped jaw. That the firm well-rounded chin, the resolute jaw and 
symmetrical cheeks, and the appearance of decision, vigor and alertness 
so necessary for either male or female beauty of expression, belong by 
right to every American man and woman ; not to mention the fact that 
the "laughing pearls " of perfect teeth can be possessed by any one, 
and some one has sinned, either the man or his parents, if the denture 
is defective and the jaws ill-developed. 



56 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM AND ITS 
APPROPRIATION OF EFFECTORS 

I. Independent Effectors 1 

By G. H. PARKER 

PBOFESSOR OF ZOOLOGY, HABVABD UNIVERSITY 

THE physiological unit in the operations of the nervous system is 
the reflex. Broadly understood, this consists of the chain of 
consequences that begins with the reception of a stimulus on the sur- 
face of the animal and, leading through the central nervous organs, 
ends in the excitation of a reaction by some such organ as a muscle. 
The term reflex is made to apply nowadays to nervous operations 
involving conscious states as well as to those that are carried out uncon- 
sciously. In its greatest simplicity the conventional reflex involves at 
least two nervous cells or neurones and some form of reacting organ 




Fig. 1. Transverse Section of the Ventral Nervous Chain and surround- 
ing Structures of an Earthworm (modified from Retzlus). cm, circular muscle; 
ep, epidermis ; lm, longitudinal muscle ; mc, motor cell-body ; mf t motor nerve-flber ; 
8C, sensory cell -body ; 8f, sensory nerve-flber ; vg, ventral ganglion. 

such as a muscle-fiber. The first neurone, as exemplified in the 
nervous structure of such an animal as the earthworm, is often the 
body of a sense-cell on the surface of the animal and the sensory nerve- 
fiber to which this cell body gives rise and which leads to the central 
nervous organ. The second neurone is a nerve-cell whose body lies 
within the central nervous organ and whose process, a motor nerve- 
fiber, extends from the central organ to the muscle-cells which it con- 
ir rhe four articles in this series represent four lectures given at the 
University of Illinois between March 30 and April 3, 1909. 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 57 

trols. The first neurone as it enters the central organ breaks tip into 
a large number of delicate branches which are in physiological con- 
tinuity with similar branches from the second neurone. It is over these 
delicate branches that the nerve-impulse passes from one neurone to 
the other and it is the structure of this system of branches that has 
been a matter of so much discussion within recent years. Anatomically, 
then, this simplest form of central nervous organ consists of motor 
cell-bodies and fibrillations from these bodies and from sensory neu- 
rones. Of course most central organs include additional neurones, 
such for instance as association neurones, which connect one part of 
the central organ with another and do not participate directly as sen- 
sory or motor constituents. The simplest conceivable reflex mech- 
anism, however, does not include these, but only the sensory and the 
motor neurone as described. Such a chain reaching from the periphery 
of the animal through its central nervous organ to and including its 
muscles is usually regarded as the primary type of neuromuscular 
mechanism. 

From a physiological standpoint this simplest type of reflex mech- 
anism falls into three parts. The first of these is the sense organ or 
receptor, which, as its name implies, receives the external stimulus; 
the receptor is also the seat of the production of the nerve-impulse. 
The second is the central nervous organ or, as it may be called, the 
adjuster, which is concerned with directing the impulse toward the 
appropriate end-organ and with modifying it in accordance with the 
particular reaction to be obtained. The third and last is the effector 
or organ brought into action by the impulse, such as a muscle or gland. 
Thus a simple reflex may be said to involve at least three special classes 
of mechanisms : receptors, adjusters and effectors. These mechanisms, 
however, do not correspond exactly to the three histological elements 
already named, for, though the receptive function is an activity limited 
entirely to the first neurone in such an animal as the earthworm, and 
the effector is the muecle-fiber, the adjuster is a part of the first as well 
as of the second neurone and is made up of at least the fine fibrillar 
material contributed by these two neurones to the central nervous organ. 
The neuromuscular mechanism even in this its simplest type has prob- 
ably not sprung into being fully formed, but it has had without doubt 
a slow and gradual growth. It is one of the objects of these articles 
to trace as far as possible the steps in this growth. 

It is to be noted that every reflex mechanism is in the nature of a 
physiologically continuous span of living substance which reaches from 
the receptive surface on the one hand to the effector organ on the other. 
At no point in this span can there be a real interruption, for a physi- 
ologically continuous thread of protoplasm must connect the two ex- 
tremes. It is, therefore, conceivable that a reflex mechanism might 



58 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



t 



exist in the body of a protozoan and in fact there is experimental 
evidence to show that in certain infusorians the superficial protoplasm 
is somewhat differentiated as a receptive surface and that this proto- 
plasm also serves as a conducting organ whereby, for instance, the 
activity of certain groups of specialized cilia in these animals is coor- 
dinated. These conditions, however, are found within the substance 
of a single cell and are so remote from those of a true nervous mech- 
anism that, interesting and significant as they are, they had better be 
termed neuroid than nervous. They show at best that the protoplasm 
of the protozoan harbors operations that may develop in the multi- 
cellular animals into reflex proc- 
esses rather than that the proto- 
zoans possess these processes, and 
that we must look among the 
simplest metazoans for the begin- 
nings of a true neuromuscular 
mechanism. 

In making a quest for the 
first stages in the development of 
the nervous system, it is impor- 
tant to keep in mind the relative 
significance of the three physio- 
logical elements already pointed 
out: the receptors, the adjusters 
and the effectors. A little reflec- 
tion will show that these three 
are not likely to prove all of 
primary significance. 

A receptor or sense organ 
alone would be of no service 
whatever to an animal; it would 
resemble a telephone receiver dis- 
connected from the rest of the 
system. In a similar way the 
adjustor or central organ is use- 
less without at least some other 
element in the reflex apparatus. 
The only mechanism sufficient in itself is the effector, which, if it can 
be brought into action by direct stimulation, may accomplish something 
serviceable to the animal. It is therefore improbable that we shall find 
multicellular animals that possess either receptors or adjusters without 
effectors, but it is conceivable that primitive metazoans may have ef- 
fectors without other parts of the typical neuromuscular mechanism. 
In a search for the earliest traces of the neuromuscular mechanism, 



Fio. 2. Diagram op the Canal System 
of a Calcareous Spongb (modified from 
Haeckel). The lateral Inlet pores receive 
water from the exterior, as shown by the 
arrows on the sides ; the osculum at the 
apex discharges water to the exterior. 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 59 

we may turn first to those very primitive metazoans, the sponges. The 
body of one of the simpler sponges is a more or less goblet-shaped, 
multicellular mass, whose surface is covered with an enormous number 
of minute pores ; these lead into tubes which in turn communicate with 
a relatively large central cavity that opens to the exterior by an aper- 
ture of considerable size, the osculum. In a living undisturbed sponge, 
water is continually passing into the lateral pores, through the tubes 
and central cavity, and out at the osculum. This current is produced 
by means of numerous cells, the choanocytes, which are provided with 
vibratile lashes and are variously distributed through the internal 
chambers and tubes of the sponge. Apparently these choanocytes work 
incessantly, and the current generated by them carries food, etc., to 
the sponge and removes waste products. Although frequent efforts 
have been made to show that nervous structures occur in sponges, 
nothing of this nature has been conclusively demonstrated and it is now 
generally believed that these animals are without differentiated nervous 
organs, either sensory or central. Nevertheless, sponges are capable of 
a certain amount of response. Merejkowsky (1878) observed that when 
he pricked with a needle the inner face of the. osculum of Rinalda, this 
aperture quickly closed, not to open again for several minutes. The 
same reaction occurs with the lateral pores of many sponges (Vosmaer 
and Pekelharing, 1898). This power of closing the pores seems to be 
the only means by which a sponge may check the current which ordi- 
narily flows through its canals, for, as already mentioned, the choano- 
cytes apparently lash the water incessantly. 

When a search is made for the organs concerned with the closing 
of the pores and oscula, they are found to consist of rings of elongated 
contractile cells or myocytes, which surround these apertures. These 
rings of cells form veritable sphincters and their action is often efficient 
enough to bring about a complete temporary closure of the aperture. 
Whether the pores and oscula open by the counteraction of radial, con- 
tractile myocytes or by the simple elasticity of the surrounding tissue 
does not seem to have been determined. 

Since these sphincters lie very close to the epithelium that bounds 
the surfaces of the pores or oscula and in fact probably often form a 
part of this very epithelium, and since no nervous mechanism is known 
to be connected with them, it seems very probable that they are brought 
into action by direct stimulation and that the sponge is a metazoan in 
which there are functional effectors unassociated with receptors or 
adjusters. Thus the sponge would represent the first stage in the 
differentiation of a neuromuscular mechanism, t. e., one in which the 
effector in the form of a primitive muscle-cell is the only element 
present. In my opinion it is around these contractile cells that the 
nervous organs of the higher metazoans have developed and I therefore 



6o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

believe that these effector elements are the most primitive members in 
the typical neuromuscular mechanism. 

That there is absolutely no trace of nervous activity in sponges is 
probably not true, but their extreme inertness shows that this function 
is certainly in a most primitive state and corresponds at best probably 
only to that sluggish form of reception and transmission that Kraft 
(1890) demonstrated for ciliated epithelium and that is probably 
characteristic of other epithelia. Taking all in all, the only element of 
the neuromuscular mechanism that is really present in sponges is the 
effector as represented by the sphincters of the pores and oscula. 

If independent effectors occur in sponges, it is not unlikely that they 
may be present in the higher animals, and as possible examples of these 
the sphincter pupillae of the eye in vertebrates and the heart-muscle 
may be considered. The sphincter pupillae is a ring of muscle im- 
bedded in the iris and surrounding the pupil in the eyes of most verte- 
brates. Its contraction would naturally reduce the size of the pupil 
and thereby diminish the amount of light that enters the eye. In the 
higher vertebrates it is well known that this reaction has the character 
of a simple reflex in which the retina is the receptor, with the optic 
nerve as its transmitting organ, and the stem of the brain is the 
adjustor from which the oculomotor nerve transmits peripherally to the 
effector, the sphincter pupillae. In the lower vertebrates, particularly 
in the fishes and amphibians, it has long been known that the sphincter 
pupillae will react in a characteristic way even in extirpated eyes. 
This fact has been explained by those who cling to the idea of a reflex 
as due to intraocular nervous connections between the retina and the 
sphincter. But Steinach (1892) demonstrated the contraction of the 
pupil in the extirpated eyes of lower Vertebrates from which the retina 
had been removed and moreover he showed that when a minute beam 
of light was thrown on a part of the sphincter, that part contracted 
first and was followed later by the rest of the muscle, an observation 
recently confirmed by Hertel (1907) in the eyes of higher vertebrates, 
including man. It therefore seems quite certain that the sphincter 
pupillae of the vertebrate eye, though usually controlled by nerves, is 
a muscle that can be directly stimulated and in this respect is an inde- 
pendent effector like the sphincters of the pores in sponges. 

A second case of independent muscle action in the higher metazoans 
is the heart-muscle. This muscle for a long time past has been 
the occasion of much discussion. In the vertebrates it is still an open 
question whether the beat of the heart is primarily nervous or muscular 
in its origin and the neurogenic and the myogenic theories of heart 
action have had a lengthy history (Engelmann, 1904; Howell, 1906). 
To Harvey we owe not only the discovery of the circulation of the blood, 
but the first true ideas of the action of the heart, for he showed that 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 61 

the active phase of the heart-beat was during contraction, not during 
expansion, as had been generally supposed, and that the heart was in 
reality a muscular force pump. Harvey seems likewise to have had 
the idea, though perhaps not very clearly expressed, that the heart-beat 
was dependent upon the heart-muscle and not upon some extra-cardiac 
mechanism. In this sense he may be regarded as the founder of the 
myogenic theory. Later Willis pointed out that the stomach, intestine, 
and heart received nerves from the brain and he believed that the 
movements of these parts were controlled by such nerves ; he therefore 
may be looked upon as the originator of the neurogenic theory. To 
account for the fact that the heart would continue to beat for some time 
after its removal from the body, it was assumed by the neurogenists 
that the branches of the nerves left in the substance of the heart when 
this organ was cut from the body were sufficient to maintain the heart- 
beat for some time, but Haller opposed this view and declared that the 
heart-muscle itself was directly stimulated by the blood that coursed 
through it. The older form of the neurogenic theory, however, was 
entirely swept away by the discovery of the brothers Weber that the 
vagus nerve when stimulated, instead of increasing the heart-beat 
brought this organ to a standstill. At about this time Remak de- 
scribed nerve ganglia within the substance of the heart and these have 
been accepted by the modern neurogenists as the nervous mechanism 
for the heart-beat. The fact that it is practically impossible to get 
adult, vertebrate heart-muscle free from nerve-cells has left the prob- 
lem of the heart-beat in these animals in a situation difficult for ex- 
perimental approach. That the heart-muscle in vertebrates is always 
a continuous one, the auricles and ventricles being connected by at 
least a slender bridge of muscle, favors the myogenic theory, as does 
also the fact that the beat can be reversed in that the ventricle can be 
made to contract first and the auricle afterwards. In fact the general 
proposition, clearly expounded by Gaskell (1900), that the vertebrate 
heart is a muscular tube over which a myogenic wave of contraction 
proceeds from the posterior to the anterior end, has much in its favor 
and yet there are facts enough to show that the neurogenic interpre- 
tation of the action of the adult vertebrate heart is not an impossibility. 
The unfavorable conditions that surround the study of the verte- 
brate heart have forced investigators to seek evidence concerning the 
nature of the heart-beat in other animals and as a result two remark- 
ably clear sets of cases have been obtained. The first of these is the 
heart of the king-crab, Limulus. The heart of this animal, as Carlson 
(1904) has pointed out, possesses the unique feature of a complete ana- 
tomical separation of nervous and muscular parts. The heart itself is a 
long, segmented, muscular tube situated near the dorsal line of the 
animal. On the dorsal face of the heart is a median nerve-cord contain- 



62 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



ing ganglion-cells and connected with two parallel lateral nerve-strands 
that lie near the sides of the heart. This whole nervous mechanism 
may be dissected off from the heart, leaving' this 
organ in other respects intact. 

If a vigorous Limulus is opened from the 
dorsal side and the heart exposed, it will be seen 
to contract at the rate of about twenty beats 
per minute, and this is likely to continue under 
the conditions of simple exposure for some twelve 
to fifteen hours. If now the median nerve-cord 
and the lateral strands are dissected away, the 
heart comes to a standstill and never again shows 
a natural beat, though a stimulus applied directly 
to its substance will cause it to contract. If 
instead of removing the nerves, the median and 
lateral strands are cut through at any plane, 
care being taken not to injure the underlying 
heart-muscle, the two regions of the heart thus 
established beat independently and coordination 
of the heart as a whole is lost. If the nervous 
connections are left intact but the muscular heart 
is completely cut across in several places, the 
whole organ continues to beat in complete co- 
ordination. It is quite clear from these observa- 
tions that the heart-beat of Limulus is absolutely 
dependent upon an extra-cardiac nervous mech- 
anism and that this beat is carried out in exact 
accordance with the neurogenic theory. Since 
the artificial stimulation of a cardiac nerve in 
Limulus is followed by tetanus in the region of 
the heart under the control of this nerve, the 
conclusion is justified that the heart-muscle of 
Limulus is comparable rather with the skeletal 
muscles of this animal than with the so-called 
organic muscles, for skeletal muscles show tetanus 
when thus stimulated. 

As Carlson himself remarks, however, the 
fact that the heart-beat of Limulus is neuro- 
genic does not prove that the heart in other 
animals necessarily functions in a like way. 
In fact it is comparatively easy to point to 
another example in which the evidence for the myogenic beat 
is just as strong as that already presented for the neurogenic 
beat. This example is the tunicate heart. The tunicate heart, as for 



Fig. 3. Dorsal View 
of the Heabt or IAm- 
ulus (after Carlson). 
The anterior end is 
uppermost ; In, lateral 
nerve-strand ; mn, me- 
dian nerve-cord. 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 



63 



instance that of Salpa, is a muscular tube over which peristaltic waves 
run from end to end. As is well known, the direction of these waves 
reverses from moment to moment, running for a short interval toward 
the visceral end of the heart, advisceral waves, and then forward the 
respiratory end, abvisceral waves. In Salpa africana-maxima, to take 
a single instance, according to Schultze (1901), after 16 abvisceral 
waves had passed over the heart in some 20 seconds, a resting period of 




Fio. 4. Section of a Salpa (modified from Herdman), showing the positions of 
the atrial aperture (a), branchial aperture (ft), digestive tube (d), ganglion (g) 
and heart (h). 

2 seconds ensued, whereupon 18 advisceral waves occupying 25 seconds 
preceded another resting period, etc. When the heart is removed from 
the body of a Salpa, it continues to beat with characteristic reversal. 
Stimulation of the central nervous ganglion of a normal Salpa has no 
effect upon the heart-beat, and though a removal of this organ is fol- 
lowed by a reduction in the rate, the same reduction is to be observed 
when other parts of the body than the central nervous organ are cut 




Fio. 5. Heart of a Salpa (modified from Schultze), showing advisceral waves. 
abv, abvisceral end; adv, advisceral end. 



out. Small fragments of the heart of Salpa also beat rhythmically 
when entirely isolated, a fact recently confirmed by Hunter (1903) on 
Molgula, and a most careful search of these fragments has failed to 
reveal nerve-cells or nerve-fibers. It seems therefore clear that the 
rhythmic heart-beat of the tunicates is myogenic in origin. This seems 
also to be true of the embryonic, vertebrate heart, for His (1891) has 
shown that this organ beats at a time when no trace of nervous tissue 
can be discovered in it. 



64 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

From this general discussion it is quite evident that the cardiac 
muscles of different animals act in very different ways and that while 
some, like the heart of Limulus, have a neurogenic beat, others like 
that of the tunicates have a myogenic beat. 

From this rather lengthy digression we may return to the question 
raised in the earlier part of this lecture, namely, the possibility of the 
existence of physiologically independent muscles. This I believe to 
have been demonstrated in part at least in the sphincter pupillae of the 
lower and perhaps all vertebrates, and wholly so in the tunicate heart 
and the embryonic vertebrate heart. The complete freedom of such 
muscles from nervous control and their dependence on direct stimula- 
tion for normal action is a repetition of a process that, in my opinion, 
characterized all primitive muscles such as we now meet with in the 
sphincters of sponges. Such muscles as these sphincters I believe to 
represent the original and primitive elements around which the other 
members of the neuromuscular mechanism, the sense organs and the 
central nervous organs, subsequently developed. In my opinion then, 
effectors in the form of muscles preceded in an evolutionary sense the 
receptors and adjustors, and formed the centers around which these 
organs developed later. 

References 
Carlson, A. J. The Nervous Origin of the Heart-beat in Limulus, and the 

Nervous Nature of Coordination or Conduction in the Heart. Amer. Journ. 

Physiol, Vol. 12, pp. 67-74. 1904. 
Engelmann, T. \V. Das* Herz. Leipzig, 8vo, 44 pp. 1904. 
Gaskell, W. H. The Contraction of Cardiac Muscle. In E. A. Schafer, Text- 
book of Physiology, Vol. 2, pp. 169-227. 1900. 
Hertel, E. Experimenteller Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Pupillenverengerung 

auf Lichtreize. Graefe's Arch. Ophthalmol, Bd. 65, pp. 107-134. 1907. 
His, W., Jr. Die Entwickelung des Herznervensystems bei Wirbelthieren. 

Abhandl. Kgl Sachs. Ges. Wiss., mathem.-phys. CL, Bd. 18, pp. 1-64, 

Taf. 1-4. 1891. 
Howell, W. H. The Cause of the Heart Beat. Journ. Amer. Med. Assoc, 

Vol. 46, pp. 1665-1670. 1906. 
Hunter, G. W. Notes on the Heart Action of Molgula manhattensis (Verrill). 

Amer. Journ. Physiol, Vol. 10, pp. 1-27. 1903. 
Kraft, H. Zur Physiologie des Flimmerepithels bei Wirbelthieren. Arch, ges, 

Physiol, Bd. 47, pp. 196-235. 1890. 
Merejkowsky, C. Etudes sur les eponges de la Mer Blanche. Me'm. Acad. 

Imp. Sc, St. Pttersoourg, Ser. 7, Tome 26, No. 7, 51 pp., 3 pis. 1878. 
Schultze. L. S. Untersuchungen ueber den Herzschlag der Salpen. Jena. 

Zeitschr. Xatunciss., Bd. 35, pp. 221-328, Taf. 9-11. 1901. 
Stetnach, E. Untersuchungen zur vergleichenden Physiologie der Iris. Arch. 

ges. Physiol, Bd. 52, pp. 495-525. 1892. 
Vosmaer, G. C. J., and Pekelharino, C. A. Observations on Sponges. Verh. 

Kon. Akad. Wetensch. Amsterdam, Sec. 2, Deel 6, No. 3, 51 pp., 4 pis. 1898. 



THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 65 



THE PREPARATION FOR THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 

By FREDERIC T. LEWIS, M.D. 

HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL 

Those who intend to study medicine are advised by the Medical Faculty 
to pay special attention to the study of Natural History, Chemistry, Physics, 
and the French and German languages, while in College. 

This sentence of advice is contained in the catalogue of Harvard 
University issued in 1874. Thirty-two years later, at the dedication of 
the new buildings, it found more vigorous expression in the address of 
President Eliot. 

Medical students should therefore have studied zoology and botany before 
beginning the study of medicine, and should have acquired some skill in the 
use of the scalpel and the microscope. It is absurd that anybody should begin 
with the human body the practise of dissection or of surgery; and, further- 
more, it is wholly irrational that any young man who means to be a physician 
should not have mastered the elements of biology, chemistry and physics years 
before he enters a medical school. The mental constitution of the physician 
is essentially that of the naturalist; and the tastes and capacities of the 
naturalist reveal themselves, and, indeed, demand satisfaction long before 
twenty-one years of age, which is a good age for entering a medical school. 

It is here assumed that these special studies form a part of the 
work for a bachelor's degree in arts or science, which the student has 
obtained before beginning his medical studies. Two groups of com- 
petent teachers of medicine dissent from this advice — those who be- 
lieve that the bachelor's degree is unnecessary, since two years of 
special college work are sufficient; and those who consider that the 
degree should be required, but as a result of studies in literature, art, 
history and philosophy, rather than in biological science. Some physi- 
cians, therefore, send their sons to college with the advice, " Study 
nothing which bears upon medicine: you will have enough of that 
later"; and of those who have followed these directions, some have 
succeeded notably, both as practitioners and scientists. Because of this 
difference of opinion, an explanation of the relation of certain college 
courses to the study of medicine may be helpful to students. 1 

Zoology. — It has long been recognized by the public that zoology is 
not medicine. When Harvey studied the circulation of the blood, 
"he fell mightily in his practice." "Had anatomists only been as 
conversant with the dissection of the lower animals as they are with 

*In preparing this account, assistance has been received from Drs. W. B. 
Cannon, L. J. Henderson, W. C. Sabine, E. E. Southard and L. W. Williams. 
vol. lxxv.— 6. 



66 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

that of the human body," he wrote in 1628, "the matters that have 
hitherto kept them in a perplexity of doubt would, in my opinion, 
have met them freed from every kind of difficulty." However, the 
public was unwilling to admit that this was a proper occupation for a 
physician, and in 1711 Addison wrote: 

There are innumerable retainers to physic who, for want of other patients, 
amuse themselves with the stifling of cats in an air-pump, cutting up dogs alive, 
or impaling of insects on the point of a needle for microscopical observations; 
besides those that are employed in the gathering of weeds, and the chase of 
butterflies; not to mention the cockle-shell-merchants and spider-catchers. 

Huxley admits that he really has never been able to learn exactly 
why a physician is expected to know zoology, and writes : 

If I had to choose between two physicians — one who did not know whether 
a whale is a fish or not, and could not tell gentian from ginger, but did under- 
stand the applications of the institutes of medicine to his art; while the other, 
like Talleyrand's doctor, "knew everything, even a little physic" — with all 
my love for breadth of culture, I should assuredly consult the former. 

This is a part of Huxley's argument for excluding comparative 
anatomy and botany from the curriculum of medical schools. As a 
preliminary training for the physician he approved of them, for later 
he wrote : 

There can be no doubt that the future of pathology and of therapeutics, 
and, therefore, of practical medicine, depends upon the extent to which those 
who occupy themselves with these subjects are trained in the methods and 
impregnated with the fundamental truths of biology. » 

These fundamental truths are taught in college. In a general course 
in zoology the student should learn what an animal is, and into what 
great classes animals are divided. Representatives of these classes 
should be studied in the laboratory, and the probable relationship of one 
class to another, and of man to other mammals, should be considered. 

The biological methods which the student should have learned in 
college include dissection and microscopic technic. It requires but 
little imagination to compare the work of two students beginning 
human dissection — one producing a set of instruments which he has 
already used, and proceeding to follow in minute detail structures 
similar to those which he has previously studied in the cat or rabbit; 
the other attempting to learn the general plan of the body and how to 
dissect, while he is supposed to be mastering the minutiae of human 
anatomy. Practise in the dissection of vertebrates and a general 
knowledge of their bones, muscles, nerves, vessels and organs are 
essential for good work in human anatomy. 

Similarly in microscopic anatomy no student can afford to try to 
learn how to handle a microscope while his companions, by its use, are 
making rapid progress in the study of human tissues. The student 



THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 67 

who has learned how to cut and stain sections for microscopic examina- 
tion will be at considerable advantage. Some medical schools give 
courses in this " microscopic technic," but the time is better spent in 
studying sections than in preparing them. It has been found by 
Professor Waite that the better medical schools afford less time for this 
subject than inferior schools. A college course in which the chief 
tissues are prepared and studied is therefore recommended. 

Embryology, which deals with the development of the body from 
the egg-cell to the adult organism, is divisible into two parts. That 
which deals with the early stages and chiefly with lower vertebrates and 
the invertebrates, has grown up in zoological laboratories. That which 
deals with the formation of the organs and the nervous, vascular and 
muscular systems in mammals, and with the development of the 
membranes in man, has been studied especially in medical schools. It 
is this portion of the subject which is an invaluable aid in under- 
standing anatomy, histology and pathology, and its study should pre- 
cede the medical school work in these subjects. Unless this is possible 
in the medical school which the student is to attend, college work in 
embryology should be considered. Thus in the Medical Department 
of Johns Hopkins University, where the teachers of anatomy are 
distinguished for their researches in embryology, no medical school 
work in this subject is required ; a college course is recommended. 

Special courses in the anatomy of the nervous system are given 
both in college and in the medical school, though generally from dif- 
ferent standpoints. The subject is so intricate that the college work 
will be found of considerable assistance. 

Occasionally a college announces a course on some one group of 
animals, such as the protozoa, insects, or worms, as desirable in prepara- 
tion for medicine. The knowledge of these groups obtained from the 
general course should be sufficient for a practitioner. The theoretical 
and statistical study of variation and heredity has only a general 
interest for medical students, and courses in systematic zoology are of 
still less importance. 

The value of zoological courses as a preparation for anatomy and 
histology is shown in the following table, based upon the marks of the 
class which entered the Harvard Medical School in 1907. The table 
shows the number of men obtaining the grades A to E, A being the 
highest (90-100 per cent.), and E failure to pass (less than 50 per 
cent.). 

Anatomy Histology 

Students who have taken in zoology — a B C D E At. jf A B C D E Av. i 

More than two courses 0472 1 69 5 6 3 85 

Two courses 1 9 7 3 53 3 6 9 2 77 

From one half to two courses 8 8 10 49 3 4 12 5 2 68 

No courses 4 4 7 45 2 5 2 6 52 



68 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

From this table it is seen that the more zoology the student has 
taken the better his grade in anatomy and histology. As already 
stated, however, the practitioner must not specialize in anatomy, and 
the only college courses which it seems wise to recommend to all 
candidates for the medical school are as follows : General zoology, dis- 
section of vertebrates, practise in the use of the microscope and in 
microscopic technic, elementary embryology. 

Botany. — The study of plants is clearly less intimately related to 
medicine than the study of animals. The peculiar importance of the 
bacteria, however, makes a laboratory half-course in the morphology 
of plants, with special reference to the fungi, very desirable. This will 
give the student a more comprehensive idea of these organisms than 
can be obtained in a medical school; it will show their relation to 
yeasts, moulds and other low plants, some of which are of medical 
importance. At the same time the student will be trained in making 
accurate observations of natural phenomena and in reasoning on the 
basis of what he has himself observed. This ability, which may be 
cultivated both in botanical and zoological courses, is of the utmost 
value to the physician. 

The study of the flowering plants was once intimately associated 
with medicine; and the array of drugs still used, which are derived 
from plants, would seem to make it important. The teacher of pharma- 
cology, however, is not seeking students familiar with medicinal fox- 
gloves and white poppies, but desires those well trained in chemistry. 
The botany of flowering plants is, therefore, not recommended. 

Geology. — Geology appeals irresistibly to a "naturalist," but has 
little value for the physician. The air, soil and water are discussed 
in courses on hygiene, and in connection with drainage problems and 
water supplies geological knowledge is important. This, however, is 
not a sufficient reason for recommending geology. 

Chemistry. — The study of chemistry in preparation for the work 
of a medical school is of great importance. Accordingly both a con- 
siderable amount of theoretical chemistry and not a little laboratory 
work are desirable. 

General descriptive inorganic chemistry and qualitative analysis 
are a necessary introduction to all chemical study, and must come first 
in any plan of chemical training; they serve to familiarize the student 
with the characteristics of simple chemical processes and substances, 
and with the more elementary chemical theories. These courses must 
be followed by at least a brief course in organic chemistry, because that 
subject, with its unique and highly important theoretical development, 
is absolutely essential to an understanding of certain physiological 
processes ; and it is of such a nature that it can be assimiliated, even 
in its most simple form, only after a considerable period of time has 
been devoted to its study. 



THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 69 

Quantitative analysis is important in another way. It gives valu- 
able training to the hand and eye, and develops a particular form of 
accuracy which is required in biochemical work, and which enables the 
student to interpret justly the work of others. 

Physical chemistry to-day contains a mass of material of the 
highest importance in all branches of biological science. An elementary 
acquaintance with it is essential for understanding such subjects as the 
physiology of the blood and the functional activity of the kidney and 
lung, since it explains the nature of solutions and the conditions 
governing the passage of substances through membranes. 

Many medical schools require for entrance, work in general chem- 
istry and qualitative analysis, and a few call for organic chemistry. 
These are essential. A half course in quantitative analysis and a half 
course in physical chemistry are desirable. 

Physics. — Many students who are careful to take courses in biology 
and chemistry in preparation for medicine neglect physics entirely, or 
think that the elementary work done for admission to college is suffi- 
cient. A thorough college course, with laboratory work consisting of 
accurate measurements, is necessary for certain branches of medical 
practise and for the fundamental study, physiology. Physics is related 
to physiology in many ways. In studying muscular contraction the 
elements that constitute mechanical work and the action of levers 
should be known. For the study of the circulation it is necessary to 
understand the principles of hydraulics and the transmission of pres- 
sure in fluids; the laws of osmosis (studied in physical chemistry) aid 
in interpreting the diffusion of fluids between vessels and tissues. In 
considering the constructive and destructive changes in the body, the 
principle of the conservation of energy should be kept constantly in 
mind. To understand the maintenance of normal temperature and 
the changes in fever, some knowledge of the physics of heat is needed. 
An understanding of electricity is necessary for explaining the electrical 
changes produced in living tissues, and in order to stimulate tissues ex- 
perimentally so that their activities may be studied.* Electrical stimula- 
tion is used in treating certain diseases, and the physiological labora- 
tory contains many pieces of electrical apparatus. The importance 
of the X-ray in medicine is sufficiently well known. In order to under- 
stand vision and the application of lenses to the eye, the principles of 
reflection and refraction must be understood. The nature of sound 
and its transmission through various media is similarly related to the 
physiology of hearing. It is a serious mistake to begin work in a 
modern laboratory of physiology before taking a thorough college course 
in general physics. 

Mathematics. — The value of mathematics for medicine is indirect, 
since it is required chiefly in preparation for physics. The student 



70 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

taking such a course in physics as has been recommended, should have 
had algebra, plane geometry and plane trigonometry. These courses 
come normally within the province of any good high school program. 
For advanced work in physics, solid geometry and higher mathematics 
are needed. For the benefit of medical students the mathematical 
requirement in certain special courses in physics is made as light as 
possible. It may be noted, however, that in the college course for 
future medical students outlined by Johns Hopkins University, the 
study of mathematics extends through two years. 

Psychology. — Although psychology is a college study directly re- 
lated to medicine, it appears that no medical school has yet required 
it for admission. A course in psychology often begins with a summary 
account of the nervous system and sense organs, and proceeds with the 
study of the states of consciousness. It discusses sensations and the 
nature of pain, and deals with instincts, memory, habits and the will. 
It gives the student a good understanding of "treatment by sugges- 
tion " and is a foundation for the study of abnormal minds, especially 
of hallucinations, illusions and delusions. Some knowledge of child 
development and an insight into sexual instincts, neurasthenia and 
psychasthenia are afforded by such a course. It is important for parts 
of physiology, pediatrics and internal medicine, and particularly for 
neurology and psychiatry. A half-course in psychology is therefore 
recommended. 

French and German. — Since much of the progress of medicine is 
recorded in French and German publications, it is desirable, and in 
several schools it is required, that students should be able to read both 
of these languages. A beginning should be made before entering col- 
lege. Courses in general literature, with practise in writing and 
speaking, will be found more profitable than those which are restricted 
to reading scientific prose. The importance of French and German in 
medicine is indicated by the number of periodicals in these languages 
for which medical libraries subscribe. The figures for the scientific 
libraries at the Harvard Medical School and for the. Boston Medical 
Library, which is used largely by practitioners, are as follows: 

Subscriptions fob Pebiodicals 

English French German 

Harvard Medical Libraries 110 35 109 

Boston Medical Library 88 67 161 

198 102 270 

Since this medical literature should be at the command of students 
and practitioners, and is indispensable for investigators, it is necessary 
to be able to read both French and German. 

Other Foreign Languages. — Although important medical articles 



THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 71 

are published in Italian, and to a less extent in Spanish and other 
modern European languages, they are not so numerous as to justify 
a study of these languages. Latin is required for admission to certain 
medical schools, "in order to enable the student the more rapidly to 
master scientific and medical nomenclature." The international 
anatomical nomenclature is now entirely Latin and many of its terms 
are employed as English words. It is, therefore, very desirable that a 
student of medicine should have studied Latin as a part of his prepara- 
tion for college. Greek is of much less importance, although it has 
supplied many barbarous medical terms. 

English. — Although some students believe that in an examination 
in anatomy they should be marked upon anatomy alone, and not upon 
English, this is impossible. Every examiner, as well as every intelligent 
patient, will judge of the physician, in part at least, by his manner of 
expression. In a lot of examination books which had been marked 
in the usual way, there were a few with the grade A, and in none of 
these was there an example of strikingly bad English. The first book 
of low grade (60 per cent.) which was taken up, contained the fol- 
lowing statement : 

Voluntary striated muscle, developed differently, than smooth and cardiac, 
that coming from mesenchyma, this from somite or segments, has a definite 
cell membrane sarcolemma, which gives off fibers, its nucleus is found at the 
periphery. 

It is useless to assert that clear and well-ordered anatomical knowl- 
edge exists in a mind which can not express it. 

The study of English literature in college is to be recommended 
not only for its utilitarian value, but as a source of recreation and 
diversion from specialized scientific studies. There may be a few 
medical students who need the advice which Holmes gave to the young 
practitioner : " Do not linger by the enchanted streams of literature," 
but many more should heed the warning — "Do not let your literary 
life become a memory — a reminiscence." Unfortunately there are 
those who enter medicine with nothing on which to found a literary 
reminiscence. 

Drawing. — The principles of drawing are taught in connection with 
courses in the fine arts or in architecture. Accuracy of observation 
may be developed in such courses, for no sooner does one begin to 
draw or model an object than attention is called to many details other- 
wise overlooked. For this reason drawing is required in studying 
anatomy, especially microscopic anatomy, in certain medical schools; 
and inability to draw seems to many students a justification for defici- 
encies in these subjects. To be sure, their professors are often in a 
similar predicament: Buskin says : 



7* THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

That Professor Tyndall is unable to draw anything as seen from anywhere, 
I observe to be a matter of much self -congratulation to him; such inability 
serving farther to establish the sense of his proud position as a man of science, 
above us poor artists who labor under the disadvantage of being able with some 
accuracy to see, and with some fidelity to represent, what we wish to talk about. 

If a course in art can develop this ability, it should be considered 
by medical students. To perceive accurately is not only a source of 
great enjoyment in itself, but to a certain extent it is an aid to the 
practising physician. One medical school in the United States recom- 
mends drawing for admission, and another provides instruction in 
anatomical drawing as an elective course. 2 

College Physiology and Hygiene. — Some colleges offer courses in 
physiology which are dilute presentations of medical school work. 
Thus, in one course, the student may be taught something of human 
anatomy, physiology, hygiene and medical bacteriology, all of which 
may be useful for those who are not intending to study medicine. It 
is wholly undesirable for the medical student to take time from other 
college work for the sake of such courses. 

The Value of Research. — Some teachers believe that the original 
investigation of a subject in science, since it compels the student to 
think for himself and to depend upon his own observations, is worth 
several regular courses as a preparation for medical study. Certain 
researches, moreover, are not difficult. A study of the variation in 
the number of rays in the daisy, or of spinal anomalies in the sala- 
mander, might be made by an undergraduate if specially taught for 
this purpose. Such researches, however, are generally at the expense 
of fundamental education, and " researchlings " are not good students 
of elementary subjects. 

Summary of Recommendations. — In the preceding pages it has been 
recommended that the medical student should have studied Latin, 
French, German, mathematics, physics and drawing in preparation 
for college ; and that in college he should elect courses in zoology, botany, 
chemistry, physics, psychology, English, French and German, since 
these studies will be of direct value in connection with his work in 
the medical school. Between two and three years will be required for 
the recommended studies, but some time will be free for philosophy, 
history and political economy. These subjects are named since they 

* Since this was written, President Eliot has referred to the advantages of 
studying drawing in the preparatory schools, as follows : " A university student 
who enters on the subject of botany or zoology is really crippled unless he can 
draw. He will make much slower progress; and will not have the best means 
of recording what he sees. And yet it is only a small percentage of the young 
men who now come to Harvard College that have any capacity for drawing. 
They have never had any opportunity to acquire any artistic skill." — Address 
to Graduates of the Massachusetts Normal Art School, April, 1909. 



THE STUDY OF MEDICINE 73 

are the ones not already discussed which were formerly required for 
the bachelor's degree, and which are now considered by some to be an 
essential part of a good education. Three full years of college work 
which have included such courses as have been recommended, and 
which have led to the bachelor's degree, will be accepted as a good 
preparation by any medical school in the United States. 

The Value of the Bachelor's Degree. — The value of the bachelor's 
degree for students of medicine is now generally recognized. A few 
medical schools require it and many recommend it. Students should, 
however, be warned against believing that the degree may be earned 
by two years of college work. This low standard, thinly disguised by 
the fact that the degree is not given the student until he has spent 
two years in the medical school, has been adopted by many colleges 
and is sometimes announced with considerable satisfaction, as follows : 

The incalculable advantages of such a combination course must commend 
themselves at a glance, alike to would-be medical students who realize the value 
of an academic degree to the physician, and to candidates for an academic degree 
who contemplate a medical career and hesitate before the length of time 
demanded by its preparatory work. 

Not only should protest be made against reducing the college work 
to two years, but much might be said in favor of four years, leading 
to the master's degree. In the Harvard Faculty of Medicine there 
are fifteen men who graduated from college since 1890. Two of these 
are doctors of philosophy; of the remaining thirteen doctors of medicine, 
six are masters of arts. The positions held by the six masters of arts 
and the seven bachelors of arts, respectively, are as follows : 

A.M. A.B. 

Professors 2 — 

Assistant Professors 4 2 

Demonstrators and Instructors — 5 

Since this list happens to include few practitioners, it may be noted 
that the college classes of '88-'90 supplied the faculty with six members, 
all practitioners ; five of the six are masters of arts. 

Not long ago, American medical schools received freely students 
with no college training. Scattered through the classes there were 
some who, without being required to do so, had obtained a college 
degree. The success of these men has been so notable that the require- 
ments for admission are rapidly becoming more stringent. At Columbia 
University the effect of demanding one year of college work has been to 
eliminate that stratum of medical students described by Professor Wood 
as the submerged tenth. 8 Most of the good schools now require two 

•Professor Wood advocates a low entrance requirement in the following 
remarkable statement. "The poor man, who has neither time nor money for 
long preparation, can enter and compete on an equal footing with the children 
of the rich. ... If he does not survive the first year, well and good, no great 
harm has been done. ..." 



74 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

years of college work, and the student is tempted to regard this as ample 
preparation. 4 The community meanwhile is seeking not younger but 
abler physicians. A shorter preparation than that which was obtained 
by many leading practitioners of the present generation is not likely 
to make their successors more efficient. 

The Value of Scientific Preparation. — There are some physicians 
who believe that the preparation which has here been recommended 
produces scientists and not practitioners. It is clear, however, that a 
single course in physiology, even a very thorough one, does not make 
a physiologist. The professor of embryology who addressed the stu- 
dents who had just finished his course as " fellow embryologists " was 
greeted with a roar of laughter. Some of those who know that scientists 
are not produced by the medical school course still assert that it develops 
an undesirable type of scientific practitioner. A graduating class has 
recently been told that "At the bedside science is sometimes a hin- 
drance." Scientific knowledge is often contrasted with common sense 
and sympathetic humanity, as if they were incompatible and the patient 
must choose between them. The medicinal effect of a merry heart, 
known since the time of Solomon, has been rediscovered with great eclat, 
and the physician whom Holmes described as having a smile "com- 
monly reckoned as being worth five thousand dollars a year to him" 
has his successors. The character of a physician is unquestionably of 
great importance, yet medicine is not an art of which " haply we know 
somewhat more than we know." No condemnation is too severe for 
a physician who, without adequate knowledge of the medical sciences, 
attends his patient with self-confidence and a genial smile. 

The college student may well be assured that the way to financial 
and professional success in medicine is through long and careful prepa- 
ration. In this great pursuit he will not become narrow. He will 
develop what Dr. James Jackson long ago described as "a mind 
liberalized by scientific studies/' If he loses a certain breadth of cul- 
ture because of specialization, still, as Cardinal Newman has said, " the 
advantage of the community is nearly in inverse ratio with his own." 

4 A caution against this has recently been published by the dean of the 
medical courses at the University of Chicago. He says : " No device for cur- 
tailing the amount of his preparation should be sought or advised for students 
who can go 'the whole road' (that is, obtain a regular course and medical 
degree) within the age limit of twenty-seven or twenty-eight." The announce- 
ment of the University of Chicago contains the italicized statement : " Every 
student should complete a four-years' college course before entering the Medical 
School if his age and other circumstances make it possible for him to do so." 



SOCIAL EVOLUTION 75 



DARWINISM IN THE THEORY OF SOCIAL EVOLUTION 1 

By FRANKLIN H. GIDDINGS, LL.D. 

REVOLUTIONIZING as the life work of Charles Darwin was in 
the fields of biology and psychology, one may doubt if his 
writings disturbed the intellectual peace anywhere more profoundly 
than in the " Sweet Jerusalem " of pre-Darwinian social philosophy. 
Borrowing a shocking thought from the Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus, 
Mr. Darwin, in due course of time, gave it back to Malthusians and 
Godwinites, to Ricardians and Ruskinites, to Benthamites and Owenites, 
with a new and terrific voltage. 

Nine years before " The Origin of Species " was published, Herbert 
Spencer, in the concluding chapters of " Social Statics," had offered an 
explanation of society in terms of a progressive human nature, adapting 
itself to changing conditions of life. These chapters are the germ of 
that inclusive conception and theory of evolution which were elabo- 
rated in the ten volumes of the " Synthetic Philosophy." Five years 
later, or four years before " The Origin of Species " saw the light, Mr. 
Spencer, in the first edition of his " Principles of Psychology," set forth 
an original interpretation of life, including mental and social life, as 
a correspondence of internal relations to external relations, initiated 
and directed by the external relations. Finally, in April, 1857, Mr. 
Spencer published, in The Westminster Review, his epoch-marking 
paper on " Progress : Its Law and Cause," in which his famous law of 
evolution was partially formulated, and evolution was declared to be 
the process of the universe and of all that it contains. 

Mr. Spencer thus had seen evolution in its whole extent, as adapta- 
tion and differentiation. He had not yet mentally grasped the uni- 
versal redistribution of energy and matter, wherein every finite aggre- 
gate of material units, radiating energy into surrounding space, or 
absorbing energy therefrom, draws itself together in order-making, 
coherence, or distributes itself abroad in riotous disintegration. That 
universal equilibration, which in fact is the beginning and the end of 
evolution, was the aspect of the world which in thought Mr. Spencer 
arrived at last of all. 

It is not given to any one human intellect to discover all truth, and 
there is more in evolution than even Mr. Spencer perceived, either at 
the beginning of his great work, or in the fulness of his powers. Intent 
upon the broader aspects of cosmic transformation, his mind did not 

1 A lecture in the course on " Charles Darwin and his Influence on Science," 
delivered at Columbia University, April 16, 1909. 



76 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

seize upon certain implications of universal rearrangement. In the 
concrete world of living organisms, equilibration becomes the relentless 
struggle for existence, in which the weakest go to the wall. Natural 
selection follows. It was this intensely concrete aspect that Mr. Darwin 
saw, and intellectually mastered. 

The distinction here indicated between evolution as a universal 
process, comprehensively described by Spencer, and Darwinism, or Mr. 
Darwin's account of one vitally important and concrete phase of that 
process, has often been noted, and is usually observed by careful writers. 
It is of particular importance in any discussion of social evolution. 
To indicate how far our theories of social origins, our philosophies of 
history and of human institutions, have become not only evolutionist, 
in the Spencerian sense of the word, but also Darwinian, is the purpose 
of my lecture this afternoon. 

It was not until the publication of " The Descent of Man," in 1871, 
when controversy over "The Origin of Species" had raged through 
twelve years of intellectual tempest, that the full significance of natural 
selection for the doctrine of human progress was apprehended by the 
scientific world. Mr. Spencer saw it when " The Origin of Species " 
appeared. Mr. Darwin himself had perceived that he must offer a 
credible explanation of the paradox that a ruthless struggle for existence 
yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness. But it was neither Mr. 
Spencer, nor Mr. Darwin, who first recognized the specific phase of the 
life struggle in which the clue to the mystery might be sought. The 
gifted thinker who made that discovery was Walter Bagehot, editor of 
the London Economist, whose little book on " Physics and Politics, or 
Thoughts on the Application of the Principles of Natural Selection and 
Inheritance to Political Society," was published, first as a series of 
articles in The Fortnightly Review, beginning in November, 1867. 
Mr. Darwin rightly calls these articles "remarkable." Revised and 
put together in book form they made a volume of only two hundred 
and twenty-three small pages in large type, but no more original, bril- 
liant or, as far as it goes, satisfactory examination of the deeper problems 
of social causation has ever been offered from that day until now. It 
anticipated much that is most valuable in later exposition. 

In the " Social Statics," Mr. Spencer had shown that primitive man, 
subsisting upon inferior species and contending with them for standing 
room and safety, necessarily developed a human nature adapted to the 
task of slaughter, cruel, therefore, and unscrupulous ; but that triumph- 
ant posterity, inheriting a subjugated world, and no longer bound to 
kill, might become sympathetic enough to cooperate successfully in 
peaceful activities. The exact relation, however, of this process to 
group formation or to the collective activity of a cooperating group 
when formed, Mr. Spencer at this time certainly did not see. For, 
incredible though it may seem, Mr. Spencer did not at this time so much 



SOCIAL EVOLUTION 77 

as make note of the terrific struggles for control of food-getting oppor- 
tunities that occur among individuals or between groups of the same 
species, variety or race. Conflict among men of the same cultural 
attainments Mr. Spencer thought of only as prompted by surviving 
savage instincts, engendered by predatory habits, in the lawless youth 
of the race. 

It was specifically the phenomena of group solidarity and of col- 
lective conflict, in distinction from a merely individual struggle for 
existence, which Mr. Bagehot selected for examination, and his mind 
penetrated directly to the essential conditions of the problem. He said : 

The progress of man requires the cooperation of men for its development. 
. . . The first principle of the subject is that man can only make progress in 
" cooperative groups " ; I might say tribes and nations, but I use the less com- 
mon word because few people would at once see that tribes and nations are 
cooperative groups, and that it is their being so which makes their value; that 
unless you can make a strong cooperative bond, your society will be conquered 
and killed out by some other society which has such a bond; and the second 
principle is that the members of such a group should be similar enough to one 
another to cooperate easily and readily together. The cooperation in all such 
cases depends on a felt union of heart and spirit; and this is only felt when 
there is a great degree of real likeness in mind and feeling, however that like- 
ness may have been attained.* 

Addressing himself to the question how the necessary likeness in mind 
and feeling are produced, Mr. Bagehot answers : By one of the most 
terrible tyrannies ever known among men, namely, the authority of 
customary law; and in accounting for the origin and force of custom, 
he develops a theory of the function of imitation which anticipates 
much, but by no means all, of the sociological theory of Gabriel Tarde. 
Custom, however, tends to create a degree of similarity among social 
units, and an unchanging way of life, fatal to further progress. To 
reintroduce and to maintain certain possibilities and tendencies toward 
variation is, as Bagehot sees the process, one of the chief uses of conflict. 
Social evolution thus proceeds through the conflict of antagonistic 
tendencies, on the one hand toward uniformity and solidarity; on the 
other hand toward variation and individuality. In some groups, one 
of these tendencies predominates. Contending together, group with 
group, in the struggle for existence, those groups survive in which the 
balancing of these tendencies secures the greatest group efficiency. It 
is not too much to say that in this interpretation, Mr. Bagehot arrived 
at conclusions which to-day we recognize as belonging to the theoretical 
core of a scientific sociology. 

Mr. Darwin, in those chapters of " The Descent of Man " in which 
he treats of the origin of social instincts and the moral faculties, adopt? 
in substance the conclusions of Mr. Bagehot, and with his keen sense 
for what is essential, lays emphasis upon four facts, namely: (1) the 

•"Physics and Politics," pp. 212, 213. 



78 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

importance of group or tribal cohesion as a factor of success in inter- 
tribal struggle, (2) the importance of sympathy as a factor in group 
cohesion, (3) the importance of mutual fidelity and unselfish courage, 
and (4) the great part played by sensitiveness to praise and blame in 
developing both unselfish courage and fidelity. In terms of these four 
facts, Mr. Darwin finds an answer to the question, how, within the 
conditions fixed by a struggle for existence, social and moral qualities 
could tend slowly to advance and to be diffused throughout the world. 

That the studies of both Mr. Bagehot and Mr. Darwin left much 
still to be said on the subject of group feeling and cooperative solidarity 
was shown when, in 1890, Prince Peter Alekseevich Kropotkin pub- 
lished in The Nineteenth Century his fascinating articles on " Mutual 
Aid among Animals," afterwards supplemented by studies of mutual 
aid among savages and among barbarians. These articles contained 
nothing essentially new in theory, but they contributed to our knowledge 
an immense mass of facts demonstrating how great has been the part 
played by sympathy and helpfulness in the struggle for existence, and 
how inadequate would be any interpretation of natural selection which 
accounted for it wholly in terms of superior strength, cruelty and 
cunning. 

Mr. Darwin never claimed to offer an adequate explanation of the 
variations which natural selection preserves or rejects. He sometimes 
took them for granted, he sometimes spoke of them as accidental or 
fortuitous. He would have been the last to pretend that he had told 
us all that we should like to know about the beginnings of sympathy or 
of sensitiveness to praise or blame. But, starting from sympathy and 
the desire for approval as traits that may actually be observed among 
gregarious creatures, and that presumably have somehow had a natural 
origin, Darwin and Kropotkin convincingly demonstrate that groups 
possessing these qualities have a certain advantage in the struggle 
for life. 

To account more fully for the origins, in distinction from the nat- 
ural selection of the social qualities, was the problem that Mr. John 
Fiske attacked in his theory of the effects of prolonged infancy, first 
published in the North American Review of October, 1873, 8 and a year 
later in the " Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy." Fiske discriminates 
between " gregariousness " and " sociality," without, however, suffi- 
ciently analyzing the one or the other, or quite defining the difference. 
By sociality he seems to mean a relatively high development of sym- 
pathy, affection and loyalty to kindred or comrades. He argues that 
sociality has its origin in small and permanent family groups. These 
are not necessarily monogamous at first. They may be polygamous 
or polyandrian, and may broaden out into clans. But they must be 
more enduring than matings observed in the merely gregarious herd. 

* Under the title : " The Progress from Brute to Man." 



SOCIAL EVOLUTION 79 

The cause of both definiteness and permanence he finds in the pro- 
longation of infancy, necessitating a relatively long-continued parental 
care of offspring. The relations so established among near kindred 
have conserved and strengthened the feelings of affection and the sense 
of solidarity. Mr. Darwin recognized Mr. Fiske's theory as an impor- 
tant contribution to the subject. It must be said in criticism, however, 
that Mr. Fiske did not see all the implications of prolonged infancy, or 
develop his theory into all its possibilities. Admitting that the pro- 
longation of infancy was probably a factor in the evolution of stable 
family relationships, and therefore played a part in strengthening the 
social sentiments, we must remember that the actual social life and 
solidarity of the gregarious group was probably a chief cause of the 
prolongation of infancy itself. Demanding, as it did, a relatively keen 
exercise of brain and nervous system in communication, imitation and 
cooperation, it operated to select for survival those individuals that 
varied in the direction of high brain power and its correlated long 
infancy. But this is to say that society was a factor in the evolution 
of man before man became a factor in the evolution of society, and the 
difference is important. 

Moreover, Mr. Fiske's theory no more explained the actual origins 
of sympathy and cooperation than Bagehofs and Darwin's theories had 
done. Neither, for that matter, did Sutherland's account of "The 
Origin and Growth of the Moral Instinct," 4 although Sutherland got 
somewhat farther back when he called attention to the reaction of 
parental care of offspring upon the evolution of ganglia making up the 
sympathetic nervous system. 

At this stage the Darwinian interpretation of social origins had 
arrived when, in 1894, there was published a work which had an almost 
sensational reception. Hailed as a new gospel by minds desiring above 
all things to find some solid ground for religious convictions that had 
seemingly suffered violence in the course of evolutionist warfare, this 
book by scientific critics was treated with scant respect. These critics, 
I venture to think, were in error. For, in fact, the " Social Evolution " 
of Benjamin Kidd raised a profoundly important question, and gave 
an answer to it which, while half wrong, was probably half right, and 
the half that was right was a real and important contribution to knowl- 
edge. Stated in the fewest possible words, Mr. Kidd's query was this : 

Since natural selection saves the few and kills the many, why does 
not the great majority of mankind try to curb competition and put an 
end to progress? Thus presented, Mr. Kidd's question is the radical 
and fearless form of a question which socialism asks in a form that, by 
comparison, is conservative and half-hearted. And Mr. Kidd's answer, 

4 Published in 1898, a worthy product of Australian scholarship, which its 
author described as largely a detailed expansion of the fourth and fifth chap- 
ters of " The Descent of Man." 



8o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

not so much as tainted with socialism, is as fearless as his question. 
Progress has no rational sanction. It is irrational and, from the stand- 
point of reason, absurd. Man goes on multiplying, competing, fighting 
and making progress because he is not rational and has no desire to be. 
He lives not by reason, but by faith. He crucifies and kills himself to 
improve the race, not because he is scientific, but because he is religious. 
Perhaps it was because Mr. Kidd's thesis was paradoxical, that 
theologians found in it something tangible and scientific men did not. 
It should be possible now to look back upon it without prejudice. On 
the face of it, it is an obvious fallacy, but back of fallacy lies a truth. 
The fallacy consists in an unwarranted assumption that individuals 
and families marked for extermination in the struggle for existence 
are, in their own lifetime, aware of their impending doom. Let us 
suppose that, of one hundred families now flourishing, ninety will be- 
come extinct in the tenth generation, their places being filled by a 
corresponding number of new families branching from the one success- 
ful line. This would be natural selection at a rapid rate. Yet to 
maintain this rate, only ten families have to drop out in any one gen- 
eration, and ten new ones to appear. This means that, at any given 
time, a ninety per cent, majority of all persons at the moment living 
have an expectation of further life, the termination of which can not 
be foreseen. The large majority, therefore, at any given time existing 
think of themselves not as the unfit that must perish, but rather as the 
fit selected to survive. 

This way of stating the problem, however, brings us face to face 
with a peculiarly interesting truth, for the apprehension of which we 
rightly may give generous credit to Mr. Kidd. Obviously, while no 
family stock or race at any time existing can certainly know, or, while 
it remains still vigorous, find sufficient ground to believe that it is 
doomed to perish, neither can it certainly know that it is indefinitely 
to survive. It does live, struggle, plan and achieve not altogether by 
knowledge or by reason, but also in part by faith. It hopes, it expects 
to endure. It believes in its future. 

This faith by which a race, a family, or an individual lives, is not 
anti-rational, nor yet super-rational. It is rather sub-rational or proto- 
rational. It is deeper, more elemental than reason — a fact of instinct 
and feeling. It is faith in the possibilities of life, born of actual sur- 
vival in the struggle for existence. The question, therefore, which Mr. 
Kidd should have asked, and which we, reviewing his work, must ask 
in his stead, is this : May we identify our elemental faith in the possi- 
bilities of life with the tremendous social phenomenon of religion, 
which, in all the ages of man's progress, has been one of his supreme 
interests? Shall we perhaps find that, when reduced to its lowest 
terms, to its essential principle, religion is not, as has been supposed, a 
belief in gods, or in a supernatural, in any way conceived, but is rather 



SOCIAL EVOLUTION 81 

that primordial faith in the possibilities of life which was born, and 
generation after generation is re-born, of success in the struggle for 
existence; which may gather about itself all manner of supplementary 
beliefs, including a belief in spirits and in gods, but which will persist 
as the deepest and strongest motive of life after science has stripped 
away from it all its mystical and theological accretions? I hope to 
show that such is the fact. So believing, I accept as a positive contri- 
bution to the theory of human evolution Mr. Kidd's proposition that 
religion, a thing deeper and more elemental than reason, has been a 
chief factor in social evolution. 

The mention of socialism, when referring to the theories of Benja- 
min Kidd, may serve to remind us of two further contributions to the 
Darwinian theory of society still to be mentioned. The Marxian social- 
ist who has taken trouble to read Mr. William Hurrell Matlock's Ameri- 
can lectures on socialism, 5 will not be disposed to admit that Mr. Mal- 
lock is a competent student of social phenomena. Before passing 
judgment, however, he should examine Mr. Mallock's " Aristocracy and 
Evolution," a suggestive and really important work, published in 1898. 
In this book Mr. Mallock rises above his habit of literary trifling, and 
digs somewhat below his prejudices, to examine not only fairly, but 
also cogently, and with illumination, the phenomenon of personal abil- 
ity as a factor of social achievement. Distinguishing between a struggle 
for existence merely, and a struggle for domination, he contends that 
progress in any legitimate sense of the word is attributable to the 
struggle for domination. No one, I think, can go far in sociological 
study without seeing that this is a significant distinction for purposes 
of historical interpretation. 

One need not, however, draw the conclusion that democracy is neces- 
sarily antagonistic to progress, as Mr. Mallock does. He says: 

The human race progresses because and when the strongest human powers 
and the highest human faculties lead it; such powers and faculties are embodied 
in and monopolized by a minority of exceptional men; these men enable the 
majority to progress, only on condition that the majority submit themselves 
to their control.* 

No student of social evolution would be less likely to dispute these 
propositions than Mr. Francis Galton, who, in fact, in his studies of 
natural inheritance and hereditary genius, has done more than any 
other investigator to establish them on a broad inductive basis. And 
after Mr. Galton, no investigator has made more valuable studies in this 
field than Mr. Karl Pearson, and no one more unreservedly than he 
accepts the conclusion that superiority is necessary to social advance and 
that personal superiority is a fact of heredity. Yet Mr. Pearson con- 

• Delivered in 1906; published 1907 as "A Critical Examination of 
Socialism." 

•"Aristocracy and Evolution," p. 379. 



82 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

tends that to add artificial advantage to natural superiority is fatal, 
because superiority can not be maintained unless the herd, as well as 
the superior individual, is carefully looked after and improved. The 
superiority that achieves leadership and domination is usually the 
power to do some particular thing exceptionally well. It is extreme 
individuation, and it often is purchased at the cost of race vitality. It 
is as necessary to maintain the one as to develop the other. Mr. Pear- 
son therefore finds the socialistic program not incompatible with con- 
tinuing progress by selection and inheritance. 7 

"To 'wage war against natural inequality* is clearly a reductio ad 
absurdum of the socialistic doctrine. So far as I understand the views of the 
more active socialists of to-day, they fully recognize that the better posts, the 
more lucrative and comfortable berths, must always go to the more efficient and 
more productive workers, and that it is for the welfare of society that it should 
be so. Socialists, however, propose to limit within healthy bounds the rewards 
of natural superiority and the advantages of artificial inequality. The victory 
of the more capable, or the more fortunate, must not involve such a defeat of 
the less capable, or the less fortunate, that social stability is endangered by 
the misery produced. At the present time a failure of the harvest in Russia 
and America simultaneously, or a war with a first-class European power, would 
probably break up our social system altogether. We should be crushed in the 
extra-group struggle for existence, because we have given too much play to 
intra-group competition, because we have proceeded on the assumption that it 
is better to have a few prize cattle among innumerable lean kine than a 
decently-bred and properly-fed herd with no expectations at Smithfield." 

From this too brief account of the applications thus far made of 
Darwinian theory to the problems presented by social relationships, 
including human institutions, we may turn to the question of further 
scientific possibilities in this direction. It will have been noted that 
the theories reviewed are not as they now stand entirely consistent with 
one another, and that none of them carries explanation back to the 
actual beginnings and causes of group formation. Perhaps if we could 
more adequately account, in terms of the struggle for existence, for 
actual social origins, and for successive stages of social evolution, the 
various fragments of theory which we now possess would fall into 
orderly correlation. 

Possibly also the most promising starting point for any new at- 
tempt to achieve these ends may be found in a careful scrutiny of what 
is involved in the struggle for existence itself. Close readers of " The 
Origin of Species" know that although Mr. Darwin, when employing 
the phrase " a struggle for existence," usually meant by it a struggle 
for subsistence, he uses it also to mean a struggle with the physical con- 
ditions of life, to which an organism that would survive must be or 

T "The Chances of Death," Vol. I., pp. 112, 113. In view of the apprehen- 
sions just now so freely expressed in England, it is, I think, worth while to 
quote the exact words in which Mr. Pearson more than ten years ago summar- 
ized his argument: 



SOCIAL EVOLUTION 83 

must become adapted. " Two canine animals in a time of dearth," he 
remarks, " may truly be said to struggle with each other which shall get 
food and live. But a plant on the edge of a desert is said to struggle 
for life against the drought, though more properly it should be said to 
be dependent on the moisture." 8 Also, "climate plays an important 
part in determining the average numbers of a species, and periodical 
seasons of extreme cold or drought seem to be the most effective of all 
checks."* Yet further, "when we reach the Arctic regions, or snow 
capped summits, or absolute deserts, the struggle for life is almost ex- 
clusively with the elements." 10 Again, Mr. Darwin often means, not 
a struggle for food or against the elements, but a struggle to avoid being 
converted into food. " Very frequently," he writes, " it is not the ob- 
taining of food, but the serving as prey to other animals, which de- 
termines the average numbers of a species." 11 And some of his most 
fascinating pages deal with the variations, such as protective markings, 
colorings and habits, which are helpful in the mere struggle for safety. 
Once more, in those paragraphs in "The Descent of Man" already 
referred to, in which Mr. Darwin recognizes the utility of group soli- 
darity, he, by implication, takes account of a struggle on the part of 
associating individuals to adjust their interests and their activities to 
one another in such wise that group life may be maintained. 

If, then, it is legitimate to use the term, " struggle for existence," 
"in a large and metaphorical sense," as Mr. Darwin says his prac- 
tise is, 12 the struggle itself obviously consists of four distinct and 
specific struggles, namely: (1) the struggle for safety; (2) the struggle 
for subsistence; (3) the struggle for adaptation by every organism to 
the objective conditions of its life, and, (4) the struggle for adjustment, 
by group-living individuals to one another. 

And this large use of the term is legitimate in fact. Mr. Darwin's 
only mistake was in calling it " metaphorical." For, as Karl Pearson 
has pointed out, "the true measure of natural selection is a selective 
death rate," 18 and any circumstance, whether it be danger, or scarcity 
of food, or non-adaptation to physical conditions, or mal-ad justment of 
associating individuals to one another, which affects the selective death 
rate, is a factor in the struggle for existence. 

If so much be granted, a number of difficult questions get a real 
illumination. What are the true relations of esthetic and economic, 
of ethical and social phenomena to one another, and to life in its wide 
inclusiveness ? What, especially, is the precise point of departure of 

• " The Origin of Species," p. 78. 

•Ibid., p. 84. 

"Ibid., p. 85. 

"Ibid., p. 84. 

"Ibid., p. 78. 

M Essay on " Reproductive Selection " in " The Chances of Death and Other 
Studies in Evolution," Vol. I., p. 63. 



84 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

social evolution from all that precedes it and prepares for it? And 
what is the precise discrimination needful of things social from things 
merely organic or psychological? The modes and the phases of the 
struggle for existence suggest intelligible answers. 

Quite obviously the struggle for safety is the shaping cause of our 
esthetic life, the life of sensitiveness and of appreciation. On this 
point Mr. Darwin's data and conclusions are exhaustive. Instant re- 
action, if the organism is unconscious, discrimination if it is conscious, 
and due estimate of light and shade, of color and form, of sound and of 
pressure, in all their objective degrees and proportions, dissonances and 
harmonies — these are the readiness and the responsiveness requisite for 
safety from each instant of life to the next. Obviously, moreover, the 
esthetic life, so understood, is elemental and precedent. For an organ- 
ism must in fact survive from moment to moment before it can have 
further need or power, even to eat. 

The struggle for subsistence initiates and broadens into the eco- 
nomic life. The struggle for adaptation becomes the ethical life. For 
adaptation, in its beginnings a mere taking on or perfecting of useful 
characters, develops, in time, into self-control, self-direction and self- 
shaping. 

Between adaptation and adjustment, no distinction whatever has 
been made by a majority of evolutionist writers. Spencer uses the 
word "adjustment" to include all that biologists and psychologists 
commonly mean by adaptation. Yet the two things are not at all the 
same. The struggles which they involve are not identical struggles, 
and, for the purposes of sociological theory, the distinction is of funda- 
mental importance. 

Adaptation — which, as it goes on, widens into and includes the 
ethical life, at first is a mere conforming of the organism through 
variation, selection and inheritance, to the physical conditions under 
which it happens to live ; that is to say, to altitude, temperature, light 
or darkness, dryness or moisture, enemies, food supply, and so on. 
Through adaptation, and because non-adaptation means extinction, the 
individuals of any given species congregated and dwelling in any given 
region where adequate food supplies are found become increasingly 
alike, and the first two conditions of social life, as Mr. Bagehot rightly 
explained it, namely, grouping and substantial resemblance, are pro- 
vided. But, since they are alike, individuals of the same variety or 
race, so brought together in one habitat, necessarily want the same 
things, and in like ways try to get them. They may compete in obtain- 
ing those things which each is able to get by his own efforts, or they 
may combine their efforts to obtain those things that no one could get 
unaided. In either case their interests and activities sooner or later 
must fall into adjustment. And, since any failure of adjustment may 
be as fatal as non-adaptation or starvation, there will be a struggle, at 



SOCIAL EVOLUTION 85 

first perhaps unconscious, but in course of time becoming conscious, to 
maintain adjustment and to perfect it. This struggle for adjustment 
is the beginning of social life and is the differentiating mark of all true 
social phenomena. 

Or, to put the matter in slightly different words, while the struggle 
for safety develops the esthetic life, and the struggle for subsistence 
becomes the economic life, and the struggle for adaptation broadens into 
the ethical life, the struggle of resembling creatures to adjust their 
similar adaptations to one another, is the beginning and the continuing 
process of the social life. 

Through success in all these struggles, and not in any one alone, 
there results a survival of the fit, that is, of those organisms that are so 
equipped with proper parts and habits that they on the whole fit into 
and conform to all the essential conditions of life provided by the 
environment in which they are forced or elect to dwell. 

Holding their own in such unremitting and remorseless contests, 
those among them in whom consciousness has awakened, inevitably come 
to feel a certain sense of vital adequacy, a will and power to live, and 
an assurance of unexhausted opportunity. There is born in them a 
faith, inarticulate at first but effective, in the possibilities of life. 
Impelled by this faith and equipped with social instinct, man, out- 
stripping all other creatures, presses forward into the wider conflicts of 
a collective struggle for existence. 

Here a word must be said about the subjective aspect of society, 
which, in its objective aspect, as we have seen, is merely the struggle 
and process of adjustment. What is the relation of adjustment to 
sympathy and to understanding, to communication and to concerted 
purpose, to the evolution of a social constraint through which the com- 
munity controls and shapes the individual, to cooperation and to social 
organization ? 

These questions are not really so difficult as some others. We have 
seen that adjustment arises because like creatures want the same things 
and in like ways try to get them. Now, wanting the same things, and 
trying in like ways to get them, are essentially psychological phenomena, 
and under analysis they resolve into one elementary phenomenon in 
particular, namely, like response to the same, or to similar, or to com- 
mon stimulation. Responding in like ways to the same, or to common 
stimulation, associating individuals, acting upon one another also by 
suggestion and example, and imitating one another in a thousand ways, 
have identical feelings and develop identical or closely resembling ideas. 
Sympathy and understanding, as the psychologist explains, are by- 
products of all these things. Sympathy and understanding, supple- 
mented by communication, and backed up by the enormous mass of 
common feelings and ideas, find expression in those common and usual 



86 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

ways of doing things, those norms and elements of custom which Pro- 
fessor Sumner has so admirably named " the f olkways." 

Folkways, customs, mores, enforced by collective instinct and feel- 
ing, constrain the individual. They become that " most terrible of all 
tyrannies known to man," of which Mr. Bagehot wrote. But that 
tyranny, as Bagehot demonstrated, perfects the group in the unity of 
essential likeness, and in the consciousness of likeness, and holds it 
together in the bonds of solidarity. Conscious of the usefulness of 
solidarity, the group, as it becomes self-conscious, endeavors by definite 
policies so far to prescribe individual conduct as to control and limit 
variation from type. Society thus becomes a type-conforming group of 
associates, endeavoring, by self-instituted discipline, to maintain, as a 
type, its distinctive characteristics. 

To observe the successive stages, and the complications of man's 
collective struggle for existence, is to examine the evolution of tribal 
society and to follow the history of civilization — a large undertaking. 
The few words that I have to offer upon these subjects at the present 
time will refer only to some of the relations that seem to hold between 
very general influences, on the one hand, and some of the larger results, 
on the other. 

Group safety is the first consideration. It is attained through unity 
of action, a prerequisite of which is the sense of solidarity. To the 
making of solidarity, everything that we are in the habit of calling 
conventionality contributes. Not only the fundamentally important 
conventions of language, but also those of manners, of costume and 
of ceremonial have here an essential function. 

Doubtless it is at this initial stage of the collective struggle, when 
life is a day by day hazard, and man's overmastering emotion is dread, 
that religion acquires its first intellectual coefficient. Since Edward B. 
Tylor developed his theory of a primitive animism, much new light has 
been thrown upon the earliest religious notions of the race. The new 
discoveries have not convinced us that animism was, indeed, the actual 
beginning of religion, much less have they proven that the ghost theory 
of Spencer's exposition was. On the contrary, research apparently has 
demonstrated that religion, before it was spiritistic or even animistic, 
was quite impersonal. It was a recognition and an ever-present dread 
of external power, conceived merely as strength or might. Mana, or 
Manitou, was not the Great Spirit of the missionary's imagination; it 
was merely The Great Big, The Great Mighty, The Great Dreadful, 
and the earlier way of establishing working relations with external 
might lay not through sacrifice or prayer, but through the ingenious 
trickery of the black art, that is to say, of magic. 

But was even magic the very first mode of worship ? Speaking for 
myself only, I doubt it. In the folkways and folklore of every people 



SOCIAL EVOLUTION 87 

we find, deep down in the stratum, the arts of augery, of divination, of 
fortune telling. In these, I suspect, we discover the earliest religious 
ideas and practises, as distinguished from religious feeling or faith. 
Before man thought of fooling, or tricking, or bribing, or importuning 
the powers that control his fate, he tried simply to find out what they 
were likely to do to him. He tried to learn whether and how far he was 
safe, to foresee his fate. 

It has been in view of such considerations as these, and especially 
because of the strong probability that religion was impersonal before 
it became animistic, that I have thought it legitimate to identify re- 
ligion in its ultimate essence or principle, with that elementary and 
primordial faith in the possibilities of life which springs from success 
in the struggle for existence. 

Collective economic effort takes at first the form of a group ex- 
ploitation of various natural sources of subsistence. Each horde be- 
comes identified with a particular region or hunting-ground, and some- 
times with a particular kind of food. The notion arises that the 
human group and its food, plant or animal, had a common origin and 
are now kindred. Magic is developed as the means relied on to pre- 
serve and to increase the food supply. This idea and resulting practise 
constitute totemism, which differentiates primitive communities into 
economic groups and into kinship divisions. 

Within each group, the adaptation of individuals to prevailing life 
conditions is furthered by the folkways, imposing upon every person a 
common morality, and, through initiation ceremonies, or other formid- 
able disciplines, developing in him some power of self-control. Prom 
experiences of discipline received and imparted, and of self-mastery, 
springs a crude theory of personal power or agency. Here, probably, 
is the true origin of animism as a theory of causation, and from this 
point religion tends to become animistic. 

The ever-recurring conflicts between group and group call forth 
leadership, establish the simpler forms of personal government and 
mark out the elementary social distinctions. It is now that ideas of 
spirits separable from material bodies, and, as ghosts surviving bodily 
death, begin to take shape. Religion becomes spiritistic. The habit 
of making obeisance to the powerful or the clever, and of propitiating 
them, which has grown up step by step with leadership and personal 
government, is transferred to the realm of shades. Ghosts must be 
looked after and prayed to, or they might do mischief. Remembered, 
fed and honored, the kindred ghosts of a community are friendly, pro- 
tecting powers. Religion becomes the bond of the living with the dead. 

Through all these struggles, adaptations and adjustments, the fit that 
survive become in a degree socialized, and in the degree that they become 
social they become better assured of further survival. By the integra- 
tion of small hordes of kindred into tribes, and the combination of 



88 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

tribes into federations, ethnic society is evolved. The ghosts of tribal 
chieftains are supposed to be more powerful and important than ordi- 
nary ghosts; they enjoy, therefore, extraordinary honor and attention. 
They become gods. Eeligion becomes theistic. 

The struggle for existence has now been won. The collective 
struggle for advantage begins. From every side confederated tribes of 
barbarian men press toward those regions that offer exceptional oppor- 
tunities; such regions in early days were the shores and back country 
of the Caspian Sea, the valleys of the Euphrates and the Nile. This 
is the struggle for situation. Bringing together in one habitat a motley 
multitude of tribes, and fragments of shattered tribes, it grinds the 
tribal system to destruction. It assembles and mingles the human ele- 
ments for an evolution of civil society. 

When the struggle for place and opportunity has been won, and 
command of territory has been achieved, every energy is enlisted in the 
economic struggle for abundance. The new social order is not yet es- 
tablished. Miscellaneous men jostle each other, as in a mining camp. 
Each lives among his fellows on sufferance, or toleration. Society is 
merely approbational, and its interests are purely materialistic. The 
deities are gods of crops and generation. 

This state of things, of course, can not last. The struggle for abun- 
dance begets the struggle for efficiency. Ideas and standards of effici- 
ency appear. The efficient find each other out. They like each other 
and each other's ways. They dislike the inefficient, and begin in all 
possible ways to make life unpleasant for them. Efficiency and the 
habits that make therefor are identified with righteousness. The gods 
are credited with righteous impulses, and a desire to have men do right. 
Society has become congenial, and religion ethical. 

The supreme struggle remains — the struggle for supremacy. To 
conquer, to dominate, to exploit — this alone can satisfy the state that 
has become strong enough to impose its yoke upon environing peoples. 
Armies are mustered and drilled, coercive rule and regimentation 
transform the domestic order. Society becomes despotic, and, since the 
gods of the conquerors must be worshipped by the conquered, religion 
becomes authoritative. 

To show how despotic society breaks down, how in such frontier 
outposts as were the islands and shores of the uEgean Sea, intellect at 
last becomes dynamic, and political habit revolutionary, and how, under 
the hammering of these forces, society becomes contractual or consti- 
tutional, and religion rationalistic, would be to tell an enthralling 
story, for which no time remains. In one favored place, the Athenian 
city state, society became for a brief time idealistic, that is to say, its 
bonds were those of a common purpose, or ideal, and religion became 
non-theological. After two thousand years of arrest and slow recovery, 



SOCIAL EVOLUTION 89 

the cosmopolitan society of the western world is, possibly, once more 
approximating the Athenian model. 

And the goal is what ? If it be true, indeed, that through the ages 
an increasing purpose runs, is it made manifest in something that we 
may legitimately call progress ? For progress, rightly defined, is more 
than evolution. It is race survival with individuation, or it is increas- 
ing individual power, capacity and happiness not entailing race ex- 
termination. Have we made sure of this? We hate to think ill of 
ourselves. Yet the question recurs : Has the survival of the fit become, 
at length, a survival of the best? 



90 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



DARWIN'S INFLUENCE UPON PHILOSOPHY 

By Pbofbbbob JOHN DEWEY 

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 
I 

THAT the publication of the " Origin of Species " marked an epoch 
in the development of the natural sciences is well known to the 
layman. That the combination of the very words origin and species 
embodied an intellectual revolt and introduced a new intellectual 
temper is easily overlooked by the expert. The conceptions that had 
reigned in the philosophy of nature and knowledge for two thousand 
years, the conceptions that had become the familiar furniture of the 
mind, rested on the assumption of the superiority of the fixed and 
final; they rested upon treating change and origin as signs of defect 
and unreality. In laying hands upon the sacred ark of absolute 
permanency, in treating the forms that had been regarded as types of 
fixity and perfection as originating and passing away, the " Origin 
of Species " introduced a mode of thinking that in the end was bound 
to transform the logic of knowledge, and hence the treatment of 
morals, politics and religion. 

No wonder then that the publication of Darwin's book, a half 
century ago, precipitated a crisis. The true nature of the controversy 
is easily concealed from us, however, by the theological clamor that 
attended it. The vivid and popular features of the anti-Darwinian row 
tended to leave the impression that the issue was between science on 
one side and theology on the other. Such was not the case — the issue 
lay primarily within science itself, as Darwin himself early recognized. 
The theological outcry he discounted from the start, hardly noticing 
it save as it bore upon the " feelings of his female relatives." But for 
two decades before final publication he contemplated the possibility of 
being put down by his scientific peers as a fool or as crazy; and he 
set, as the measure of his success, the degree in which he should affect 
three men of science : Lyell in geology, Hooker in botany and Huxley 
in zoology. 

Religious considerations lent fervor to the controversy, but they 
did not provoke it. Intellectually, religious emotions are not creative 
but conservative. They attach themselves readily to the current 
view of the world and consecrate it. They steep and dye intellectual 
fabrics in the seething vat of emotions; they do not form their warp 



DARWIN'S INFLUENCE UPON PHILOSOPHY 91 

and woof. There is not, I think, an instance of any large idea about 
the world being independently generated by religion. However much 
the ideas that rose np like armed men against Darwinism owed their 
intensity to religious associations, their origin and meaning are to be 
sought elsewhere. 

II 

Few words in our language foreshorten intellectual history as does 
the word species. The Greeks in initiating the intellectual life of 
Europe, were impressed by characteristic traits of the life of plants 
and animals; so impressed indeed that they made these traits the 
key to defining nature and to explaining mind and society. And 
truly life is so wonderful that a seemingly successful reading of its 
mystery might well lead men to believe that the key to the secrets of 
heaven and earth was in their hands. The Greek rendering of this 
mystery, the Greek formulation of the aim and standard of knowledge, 
was in the course of time embodied in the word species and controlled 
philosophy for two thousand years. To understand the intellectual 
face-about expressed in the phrase " Origin of Species/' we must, then, 
understand the long dominant idea against which it was a protest. 

Consider how men were impressed by the facts of life. Their eyes 
fell upon certain things slight in bulk, and frail in structure. To every 
appearance, these perceived things were inert and passive. Suddenly, 
under certain circumstances, these things — henceforth known as seeds 
or eggs or germs — begin to change, to change rapidly in size, form 
and qualities. Rapid and extensive changes occur, however, in many 
things — as when wood is touched by fire. But the changes in the 
living thing are orderly ; they are cumulative ; they tend constantly in 
one direction; they do not, like other changes, destroy or consume, or 
pass fruitless into wandering flux; they realize and fulfil. Each 
successive stage, no matter how unlike its predecessor, preserves its 
net effect and also prepares the way for a fuller activity on the part of 
its successor. In living beings changes do not happen as they seem 
to elsewhere, any which way ; the earlier changes are regulated in view 
of later results. This progressive organization does not cease till 
there is achieved a true final term, a tcXos, a completed, perfected end. 
This final form exercises in turn a plenitude of functions, not the 
least noteworthy of which is production of germs like those from 
which it took its own origin, germs capable of the same cycle of self- 
fulfilling activity. 

But the whole miraculous tale is not yet told. The same drama is 
enacted to the same destiny in countless myriads of individuals so 
sundered in time, so severed in space, that they have no opportunity for 
mutual consultation and no means of interaction. As an old writer 



92 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

quaintly said, " things of the same kind go through the same formali- 
ties " — celebrate, as it were, the same ceremonial rites. 

This formal activity which operates throughout a series of changes 
and holds them to a single course; that subordinates their aimless flux 
to its own perfect manifestation ; which, leaping the boundaries of space 
and time, keeps individuals in spite of their being distant in space and 
remote in time to a uniform type of structure and function : this prin- 
ciple seemed to give insight into the very nature of reality itself. To it 
Aristotle gave the name, eiSos. This term the scholastics translated 
as species. 

The force of this term was deepened by its application to everything 
in the universe that observes order in flux and manifests constancy 
through change. From the casual drift of daily weather, through the 
uneven recurrence of seasons and unequal return of seed time and har- 
vest, up to the majestic sweep of the heavens — the image of eternity in 
time — and from this to the unchanging pure and contemplative intelli- 
gence beyond nature lies one unbroken fulfilment of ends. Nature, as 
a whole, is a progressive realization of purpose strictly comparable to 
the realization of purpose in any single plant or animal. 

The conception of ctSos, species, the fixed form and final cause, was 
the central principle of knowledge as well as of nature. Upon it 
rested the logic of science. Change as change is mere flux and lapse; 
it insults intelligence. Genuinely to know is to grasp a permanent 
end that realizes itself through changes, holding them thereby within 
the metes and bounds of fixed truth. Completely to know is to re- 
late all special forms to their one single end and good: pure contem- 
plative intelligence. Since, however, the scene of nature which directly 
confronts us is in change, nature as directly and practically experienced 
can not satisfy the conditions of knowledge. Human experience is also 
in flux, and hence the instrumentalities of sense-perception and of in- 
ference based upon observation are condemned in advance. Science is 
compelled to aim at realities lying behind and beyond the processes of 
nature, and to carry on its search for these realities by means of 
rational forms transcending ordinary modes of perception and inference. 

There are, indeed, but two alternative courses. We must either 
find the appropriate objects and organs of knowledge in the mutual 
interactions of changing things; or else, to escape the infection of 
change, we must seek them in some transcendent and supernal region. 
The human mind, deliberately as it were, exhausted the logic of the 
changeless, the final and the transcendent, before it essayed adventure 
on the pathless wastes of generation and transformation. We dispose 
all too easily of the efforts of the schoolmen to interpret nature and 
mind in terms of real essences, hidden forms and occult faculties, for- 
getful of the seriousness and dignity of the ideas that lay behind. We 



DARWIN'S INFLUENCE UPON PHILOSOPHY 93 

dispose of them by laughing at the famous gentleman who accounted 
for the fact that opium put people to sleep on the ground it had a 
dormitive faculty. But the doctrine, held in our own day, that 
knowledge of the plant that yields the poppy consists in referring the 
peculiarities of an individual to a type, to a universal form, a doctrine 
so firmly established that any other method of knowing was conceived 
to be unphilosophical and unscientific, was a survival of precisely the 
same logic. This identity of conception in the scholastic and anti- 
Darwinian theory may well suggest greater sympathy for what has 
become unfamiliar and greater humility regarding the further un- 
f amiliarities that history has in store. 

Darwin was not, of course, the first to question the classic philoso- 
phy of nature and of knowledge. The beginnings of the revolution are 
in the physical science of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 
When Galileo said : " It is my opinion that the earth is very noble and 
admirable by reason of so many and so difiEerent alterations and gen- 
erations which are incessantly made therein," he expressed the changed 
temper that was coming over the world; the transfer of interest from 
the permanent to the changing. When Descartes said: "The nature 
of physical things is much more easily conceived when they are beheld 
coming gradually into existence, than when they are only considered as 
produced at once in a finished and perfect state," the modern world 
became self-conscious of the logic that was henceforth to control it, 
the logic of which Darwin's " Origin of Species " is the latest scientific 
achievement. Without the methods of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo 
and their successors in astronomy, physics and chemistry, Darwin 
would have been helpless in the organic sciences. But prior to Darwin 
the impact of the new scientific method upon life, mind and politics, 
had been arrested for the most part, because between these ideal or 
moral interests and the inorganic world there intervened the kingdom 
' of plants and animals. The gates of the garden of life were barred to 
the new ideas while only through this garden was there access to mind 
and politics. The influence of Darwin upon philosophy resides in his 
having freed the new logic for application to mind and morals by con- 
quering the phenomena of life. When he said of species what Galileo 
had said of the earth, e pur se muove, he emancipated once for all 
genetic and experimental ideas as an organon of asking questions and 
looking for explanations in philosophy. 

Ill 

The exact bearings upon philosophy of the new logical outlook 

are, of course, as yet, uncertain and inchoate. We live in the twilight 

of intellectual transition. One must add the rashness of the prophet to 

the stubbornness of the partisan to venture a systematic exposition of 



94 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

the influence upon philosophy of the Darwinian method. At best, we 
can but inquire as to its general bearing — the effect upon mental 
temper and complexion, upon that body of half-conscious, half in- 
stinctive intellectual aversions and preferences which determine, after 
all, our more deliberate intellectual enterprises. In this vaguer inquiry 
there happens to exist as a kind of touchstone one problem of great 
historic significance that has also been much discussed in Darwinian 
literature. I refer to the old problem of design versus chance, mind 
versus matter, as the causal explanation, first and final, of things. 

As we have already seen, the classic notion of species carried with it 
the idea of purpose. In all living forms, a specific type is present 
directing the earlier stages of growth to the realization of its own per- 
fection. Since this purposive regulative principle is not visible to the 
senses, it follows that it must be an ideal or rational force. Since, 
however, the perfect form is gradually approximated through the sen- 
sible changes, it also follows that in and through a sensible realm a 
rational ideal force is working out its own ultimate manifestation. 
These two inferences were extended to nature: (a) She does nothing 
in vain; but all for an ulterior purpose. (6) Within natural sensible 
events there is therefore contained a spiritual causal force, which as 
spiritual escapes perception, but is apprehended by an enlightened 
reason, (c) The manifestation of this principle brings about a sub- 
ordination of matter and sense to its own realization, and this ultimate 
fulfilment is the goal of nature and of man. The design argument 
thus operated in two directions. Purposefulness accounted for the in- 
telligibility of nature and the possibility of science, while the absolute 
or cosmic character of this purposefulness gave sanction and worth to 
the moral and religious endeavors of man. Science was underpinned 
and morals authorized by one and the same principle, and their mutual 
agreement was eternally guaranteed. 

This philosophy remained, in spite of sceptical and polemic out- 
bursts, the official and the regnant philosophy of Europe for over two 
thousand years. The expulsion of fixed first and final causes from 
astronomy, physics and chemistry had indeed given the doctrine 
something of a shock. But, on the other hand, increased acquaintance 
with the details of plant and animal life made a counterbalance and 
perhaps even strengthened the argument from design. The mar- 
vellous adaptations of organisms to their environment, of organs to 
the organism, of unlike parts of a complex organ — like the eye — to 
the organ itself; the foreshadowing by lower forms of the higher; the 
preparation in earlier stages of growth for organs that only later had 
their functioning — these things were increasingly recognized with the 
progress of botany, zoology, paleontology and embryology. Together 
they added such prestige to the design argument that by the late 



DARWIN'S INFLUENCE UPON PHILOSOPHY 95 

eighteenth century it was, as proved by the sciences of organic life, the 
central point of theistic and idealistic philosophy. 

The Darwinian principle of natural selection cut straight under 
this philosophy. If all organic adaptations are due simply to constant 
variation and the elimination of those variations that are harmful in the 
struggle for existence which is brought about by excessive reproduction, 
there is no call for a prior intelligent causal force to plan and preordain 
them. Hostile critics charged Darwin with materialism and with 
making chance the cause of the universe. 

Some naturalists, like Asa Gray, favored the Darwinian principle 
and attempted to reconcile it with design. Gray held to what may be 
called design on the instalment plan. If we conceive the " stream of 
variations " to be itself intended, we may suppose that each successive 
variation was designed from the first to be selected. In that case, 
variation, struggle and selection simply define the mechanism of 
" secondary causes " through which the " first cause " acts; and the 
doctrine of design is none the worse off because we know more of its 
modus operandi. 

Darwin could not accept this mediating proposal. He admits or 
rather he asserts that it is " impossible to conceive this immense and 
wonderful universe including man with his capacity of looking far 
backwards and far into futurity as the result of blind chance or neces- 
sity." 1 But nevertheless he holds that since variations are in useless 
as well as useful directions, and since the latter are sifted out simply 
by the stress of the conditions of struggle for existence, the design 
argument as applied to living beings is unjustifiable; and its lack of 
support there deprives it of scientific value as applied to nature in gen- 
eral. If the variations of the pigeon, which under artificial selection 
give the pouter pigeon, are not preordained for the sake of the breeder, 
by what logic do we argue that variations resulting in natural species 
are pre-designed ?* 

IV 

So much for some of the more obvious facts of the discussion of 
design versus chance as causal principles of nature and of life as 
a whole. We brought up this discussion, you recall, as a crucial in- 
stance. What does our touchstone indicate as to the bearing of Dar- 
winian ideas upon philosophy? In the first place, the new logic out- 
laws, flanks, dismisses — what you will — one type of problems and 
substitutes for it another type. Philosophy forswears inquiry after 
absolute origins and absolute finalities in order to explore specific values 
and the specific conditions that generate them. 

^'Life and Letters," Vol. I., p. 282; cf. 286. 

•"Life and Letters/' Vol. II., pp. 146, 170, 245; Vol. L, 283-84. See also 
the closing portion of his "Variations of Animals and Plants under Domes- 
tication." 



96 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Darwin concluded that the impossibility of assigning the world to 
chance as a whole and to design in its parts indicated the insolubility 
of the question. Two radically different reasons, however, may be 
given as to why a problem is insoluble. One reason is that the prob- 
lem is too high for intelligence; the other is that the question in its 
very asking makes assumptions that render the question meaningless. 
The latter alternative is unerringly pointed to in the celebrated case 
of design versus chance. Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruit- 
ful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate 
the object of study, together with the consequences that further flow 
from it, and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by as- 
sumption, lies outside. To assert — as is often asserted — that specific 
values of particular truths, social bonds and forms of beauty, if they 
can be shown to be generated by concretely knowable conditions, are 
meaningless and in vain; to assert that they are justified only when 
they and their particular causes and effects have all at once been 
gathered up into some inclusive first cause and some exhaustive final 
goal, is intellectual atavism. Such argumentation is reversion to the 
logic that explained the extinction of fire by water through the formal 
essence of aqueousness and the quenching of thirst by water through 
the final cause of aqueousness. Whether used in the case of the special 
event or in that of life as a whole, such logic only abstracts some as- 
pect of the existing course of events in order to reduplicate it as a 
petrified eternal principle by which to explain the very changes of which 
it is the formalization. 

When Henry Sidgwick casually remarked in a letter that as he grew 
older his interest in what or who made the world was altered into in- 
terest in what kind of a world it is anyway, his voicing of a common 
experience of our own day illustrates also the nature of that intellectual 
transformation effected by the Darwinian logic. Interest shifts from 
the wholesale essence back of special changes to the question of how 
these special changes serve and defeat concrete purposes ; shifts from an 
intelligence that shaped things once for all to the particular intelligences 
which things are even now shaping; shifts from an ultimate goal of 
good to the direct increments of justice and happiness that intelligent 
administration of existent conditions may beget and that present care- 
lessness or stupidity will destroy or forego. 

In the second place, the classic type of logic inevitably set philoso- 
ophy upon proving that life must really have certain qualities and 
values — no matter how experience presents the matter — because of 
some remote cause and eventual goal, while the logic of the new 
science frees philosophy from this apologetic habit and temper. The 
duty of wholesale justification inevitably accompanies all thinking that 
makes the meaning of special occurrences depend upon something that 



DARWIN'S INFLUENCE UPON PHILOSOPHY 97 

lies once and for all behind them. The habit of derogating from 
present meanings and uses prevents our looking the facts of experience 
in the face ; it prevents serious acknowledgment of the evils they pre- 
sent and serious concern with the goods they promise but do not yet 
fulfil. It turns thought to the business of finding a wholesale trans- 
cendent remedy for the one and guarantee for the other. One is re- 
minded of the way many moralists and theologians greeted Herbert 
Spencer's recognition of an unknowable energy from which welled up 
the phenomenal physical processes without and the conscious operations 
without. Merely because Spencer labeled his unknowable energy 
" God," this faded piece of metaphysical goods was greeted as an 
important and grateful concession to the reality of the spiritual realm. 
Were it not for the deep hold of the habit of seeking justification for 
ideal values in the remote and transcendent, surely this reference of 
them to an unknowable absolute would be despised in behalf of the daily 
demonstrations of experience that knowable energies are daily gener- 
ating about us precious values. 

The displacing of this wholesale type of philosophy will doubtless 
not arrive by sheer logical disproof, but rather by growing recognition 
of its futility. Were it a thousand times true that opium produces 
sleep because of its dormitive energy, the inducing of sleep in the tired 
and the recovery to waking life of the poisoned, would not be thereby 
one least step forwarded. And were it a thousand times dialectic- 
ally demonstrated that life as a whole is regulated by a transcendent 
principle to a final inclusive goal, truth and error, health and disease, 
good and evil, hope and fear in the concrete would remain none the 
less just what and where they now are. To improve our education, to 
ameliorate our manners, to advance our politics, we must have recourse 
to specific conditions of generation. 

Finally, the new logic introduces responsibility into the intellectual 
life. To idealize and rationalize the universe at large is after all a 
confession of inability to master the courses of things that specifically 
concern us. As long as mankind suffered from this impotency, nat- 
urally it shifted a burden of responsibility which it could not carry 
over to the more competent shoulders of the transcendent cause. But 
if insight into specific conditions of value and into specific consequences 
of ideas is possible, philosophy must in time become a method of lo- 
cating and interpreting the more serious of the conflicts that occur in 
life, and a method of projecting ways for dealing with them : a method 
of moral and political diagnosis and prognosis. 

The claim to formulate a priori the legislative constitution of the 
universe is by its nature a claim that may lead into elaborate dialectic 
developments. But it is also one which removes these very conclusions 
from subjection to experimental test, for, by definition, these results 

VOL. LXXV.— 7. 



98 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

make no differences in the detailed course of events. But a philosophy 
that humbles its pretensions to the work of projecting hypotheses for 
the education and conduct of mind, individual and social, is thereby 
subjected to test by the way in which the ideas it propounds work out 
in practise. In having modesty forced upon it, philosophy also ac- 
quires responsibility. 

Doubtless I may seem to have violated the implied promise of my 
earlier remarks and to have turned both prophet and partisan. But 
in anticipating the direction of the transformations in philosophy to be 
wrought by the Darwinian genetic and experimental logic, I do not 
profess to speak for any changes save those wrought in those who yield 
themselves consciously or unconsciously to this logic. No one can 
fairly deny that at present there are evident two effects of the Darwin- 
ian mode of thinking. On the one hand, there are making many sin- 
cere and vital efforts to revise our traditional philosophic conceptions 
in accordance with its demands. On the other hand, there is as defi- 
nitely a recrudescence of absolutistic philosophies ; an assertion of a type 
of philosophic knowing distinct from that of the sciences, which opens 
to us another kind of reality from that to which the sciences give ac- 
cess; an appeal through experience to something that radically trans- 
cends experiences. This reaction affects popular creeds and religious 
movements as well as technical philosophies. In other words, the very 
conquest of the biological sciences by the new ideas has led many to 
effect a more explicit and rigid separation of philosophy from science. 

Old ideas give way slowly; for they are more than abstract logical 
forms and categories. They are habits, predispositions, deeply en- 
grained attitudes of aversion and preference. Moreover, the convic- 
tion persists — though history shows it to be a hallucination — that all 
the questions that the human mind has asked are questions that can be 
answered in terms of the alternatives that the questions themselves 
present. But in fact intellectual progress usually occurs through sheer 
abandonment of such questions, together with both of the alterna- 
tives they assume — an abandonment that results from decreasing 
vitality and interest in their point of view. We do not solve them : we 
get over them. Old questions are solved by disappearing, evaporating, 
while new questions corresponding to the changed attitude of endeavor 
and preference take their place. Doubtless the greatest dissolvent of 
old questions, the greatest precipitant of new methods, new intentions, 
new problems, is the one effected by the scientific revolution completed 
in the " Origin of Species." 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



99 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



THE COLLEGE AND THE STUDENT 

At this commencement season uni- 
versity presidents and others are likely 
to make addresses to academic audi- 
ences and the problems of the college 
and of the college student are likely 
to be subjects for comment in the daily 
papers and the monthly magazines. 
This year two addresses have attracted 
special attention. Some rather inci- 
dental remarks of President Wilson, 
of Princeton University, are of in- 
trinsic interest, and the Phi Beta 
Kappa address of President Lowell, of 
Harvard University, preceding his in- 
augural address, gives the first indi- 
cation of his attitude toward questions 
concerning which his influence and re- 
sponsibility are very great. 

It is somewhat curious that the 
president of Princeton appears to be 
more modern in his point of view than 
the president of Harvard. President 
Wilson is reported as saying: 

I believe in athletics. I believe in 
all those things which relax energy 
that the faculties may be at their best 
when the energies are not relaxed, but 
only so far do I believe in these diver- 
sions. When the lad leaves school he 
should cease to be an athlete. The 
modern world is an exacting one, and 
the things it exacts are mostly intel- 
lectual. 

A danger surrounding our modern 
education is the danger of wealth. I 
am sorry for the lad who is going to 
inherit money. I fear that the kind of 
men who are to share in shaping the 
future are not largely exemplified in 
schools and colleges. 

So far as the colleges go, the side- 
shows have swallowed up the circus, 
and we in the main tent do not know 
what is going on. And I do not know 
that I want to continue under those 
conditions as ringmaster. There are 
. more honest occupations than teaching 
if you can not teach. 

This is characteristically well put, 
but the point of view is unexpected. 



It was supposed that the officers of 
Princeton were comparatively well sat- 
isfied with their rich boys, their pro- 
fessional athletics and their precep- 
torial system. It seems that on this 
occasion the president of Princeton is 
too iconoclastic and too pessimistic. 
The rich boys and the college boys will 
surely do more than the average in 
" shaping the future," even though this 
may be accomplished by a kind of 
monopoly control. The boy need not 
cease to be an athlete when he leaves 
the preparatory school; the trouble in 
our colleges is not that there are too 
many athletes, but too few, and those 
few' ov er-traine d and over-exploited. 
The college boy can do athletic stunts 
better than any one else can and better 
than he can do anything else; so there 
is much to be said for letting him do 
them. Satan can find worse mischief 
for idle hands. 

When Mr. Wilson says that the 
things which the modern world exacts 
are mostly intellectual, he presumably 

I refers to the kinds of things the Prince- 
ton preceptors try to teach. But what 

1 the world wants is men who will do the 
right thing at the right time. The boy 

i who is to be a scholar in after life 

i should be a scholar in college. But 
the average boy gains more from run- 
ning the college paper or fraternity 
house than by writing Latin verses or 
even reading the innocuous literature 
prescribed by the College Entrance Ex- 
amination Board. Certainly both col- 
lege students and college teachers could 
be more usefully employed than they 
are at present; but it is odd that the 
president of Princeton should rub 
this in. 

Mr. Lowell had undertaken to give 
the Phi Beta Kappa at Columbia before 
he was elected to the presidency of 



ioo THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



5 






THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



IOI 



Harvard. He was reported in the daily 
papers to have spoken in favor of in- 
ter-collegiate athletics and against the 
elective system. This would indeed be 
a cry of " le roi est mort," and ex- 
plain why one seventh of the members 
of the Harvard corporation did not 
vote with the majority in the presi- 
dential election. As a matter of fact, 
Mr. Lowell spoke with skill and with 
caution. He did, however, argue that 
the elective system interferes with 
competition in college studies, and that 
the cooperative competition of athletic 
games should be applied to the work 
of the class room. But he did not tell 
how he thought that this could be 
accomplished. His main argument was 
from the competition in the English 
universities. He said: "The result is 
that by the I sis and the Cam there is 
probably more hard study done in sub- 
jects not of a professional character 
than in any other universities in the 
world." This is scarcely correct. The 
" poll " men at Oxford and Cambridge 
do even less work for tneir degrees 
than the average students at Harvard 
and Princeton. The men in the honor 
courses are doing professional work of 
much the same character as is done in 
the Harvard graduate and professional 
schools and with much the same re- 
wards in the way of fellowships and 
positions. The greater direct competi- 
tion in examinations which does obtain 
in the English universities is not neces- 
sarily an advantage. Indeed the ar- 
rangement of men in the order of merit 
in the mathematical tripos has just 
now been abandoned at Cambridge on 
the ground that it led to " cramming." 
Scholarship is more highly esteemed in 
England and in Germany (where there 
is no class-room competition in the 
universities) than here. Probably as 
time goes on there will be an equaliza- 
tion due to greater respect for the 
scholar here and to relatively higher 
regard for other forms of accomplish- 
ment there. Mr. Lowell said : " Uni- 
versities stand for the eternal worth 
of thought, for the preeminence of the 



prophet and the seer." But the coun- 
try can not support 80,000,000 prophets 
and seers. 

To one hearer Mr. Lowell's address 
seemed somewhat naive, and left an 
impression of uncertainty as to how he 
would confront the complicated prob- 
lems which the latter-day university 
president is expected to manage. 

THE NEW BUILDINGS OF THE 
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH 
In January, 1908, the University of 
Pittsburgh acquired a new location, 
consisting of 43 acres near the en- 
trance to Schenley Park and within a 
short distance of the Carnegie Insti- 
tute. The ground is partially rising 
and partially level, permitting an ef- 
fective grouping of the buildings. 
Under the direction of Professor War- 
ren P. Laird, an architects' competi- 
tion was hela in which sixty-six de- 
signs were submitted. The group plan 
accepted was that of Palmer & Horn- 
bostel, a reproduction of which is here 
shown. The style of architecture is 
Grecian and is well adapted to the 
natural features of the ground. The 
location of the several departments of 
the university is determined and for 
the most part the exact buildings which 
will be erected. 

The first building of the group, the 
School of Mines, is completed and has 
just been dedicated. Its cost is ap- 
proximately $200,000. The second 
building, costing an equal sum, is in 
process of erection and will be ready 
for occupancy in September. The state 
appropriation provided by the last 
legislature permits the erection of an- 
other building, which will belong to 
the medical group. The architects are 
working upon the plans for this build- 
ing, the erection of which will be com- 
menced on July 1, permitting the med- 
ical department to begin its work in 
the new location in 1910. 

As rapidly as buildings can be pro- 
vided the other departments, law, den- 
tistry and pharmacy will be transferred 
to the new location. The university 



102 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Tub School of Mines Building op the University op Pittsburgh, 
the first to be erected on the new site. 



comprises the following departments: 
college, graduate, observatory, summer 
school, Saturday and evening classes, 
engineering, mining, medicine, den- 
tistry, law and pharmacy. 

The students in the regular classes 
during the past year have numbered 
1,129. Those taking special work were 
114, making a total of 1,243. The 
region in which the university is now 
located is remarkable because of the 
large number of fine buildings housing 
various educational and other institu- 
tions of the city. It bids fair to be- 
come one of the famous centers of the 
country. 

The former buildings of the collesre 
and engineering school have been sold 
and the proceeds placed in the perma- 



nent fund of the university. During 
the past year nearly $300,000 have been 
raised by popular subscription. The 
first charter of the university was 
granted in 1787. The present year 
marks practically the first consolida- 
1 tion of the several departments under 
the absolute ownership and control of 
the university. 

I 

THE PERCY SLADEX MEMORIAL 
FUND 
I In 1904 Mrs. Percy Sladen endowed 
[ with £20,000 a trust fund for the 
| furtherance of research in the natural 
| sciences in memory of her husband, 
| who had died four years previously. 
1 The trustees of this fund, who are 

themselves men of science, are allowed 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



103 



Pebcy Sladen. 



wide discretion in its administration, 
but have adopted the policy of assisting 
expeditions. The first of these has 
been a zoological exploration of the 
Indian Ocean under the leadership of 
Mr. J. Stanley Gardiner, the results of 
which are how published in the Trans- 
actions of the Linnean Society of Lon- 
don. They fill a volume of 419 pages, 
the different groups of animals being 
worked over by leading specialists. 
The trustees of the fund are now sup- 
porting an anthropological expedition 
to Melanesia under the leadership of 



Dr. W. H. R. Rivers, and a third ex- 
pedition will be sent to study the 

j botany of West Africa, under Professor 

! H. H. W. Pearson. 

The volume containing the account 
of the expedition to the Indian Ocean 
is prefaced by an introduction on the 
life and work of Sladen by Mr. Henry 
Bury, with a portrait here reproduced 
from the painting by Mr. H. T. Wells, 
in the possession of the Linnean So- 
ciety. Born in 1849, Sladen was edu- 
cated at a public school where little or 
no attention was paid to science and 



io4 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



he did not attend a university. He 
became interested in science through 
the local scientific society and museum 
at Halifax, and received his training 
through them and through his own 
work. He accomplished scientific work 
of accuracy and importance, but was 
an amateur in the sense that he held 
no scientific position. Darwin is the 
most notable instance of the great con- 
tributions to science made in Great 
Britain by those having hereditary 
wealth and devoting their lives to sci- 
entific work, but he is only one of a 
large class, including men of great 
eminence, such as the two last presi- 
dents of the Royal Society, Lord Ray- 
leigh and Sir William Huggins, and 
many others, such as Sladen, whose 
work may not be widely known,, but 
is of a high class. It is to be hoped, 
though scarcely to be expected, that 
these traditions will be maintained in 
Great Britain and adopted here, as the 
number of our wealthy families in- 
creases. 

Sladen concerned himself in the main 
with scientific work on the starfishes. 
In the course of twenty years he pub- 
lished thirty-five papers, the most ex- 
tensive being the report on the Aster- 
oidea collected by the Challenger which 
describes 184 new species. In an early 
paper he described an extraordinary 
form from a single specimen since lost 
which he placed in a new family inter- 
mediate between the Ophiurids and the 
Asterids. Another discovery of evolu- 
tionary interest was of certain " cribri- 
form " organs in a family of starfishes. 
The function of these organs is not 
known; they appear in one family only 
with no indication as to how they may 
have been evolved, their number is 
fixed for each species, though it varies 
greatly within the family. 

Though Sladen's scientific work was 



narrowly limited, he was a man of 
public spirit and wide accomplish- 
ments. He knew Persian as well as 
European literatures and was an ex- 
pert collector and student of old books 
and manuscripts. He was zoological 
secretary of the Linnean Society and 
secretary of several committees of the 
British Association. His biographer 
says of him : " Cheerful, humorous and 
of a remarkably even temper, Sladen 
presented to his many friends a sin- 
gularly lovable nature, in which un- 
selfishness, sincerity and a generous 
appreciation of the work of others 
were some of the leading character- 
istics." 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS 
We record with regret the deaths of 
Dr. Georg von Neumayer, the eminent 
German meteorologist; of Dr. Wilhelm 
Engelmann, professor of physiology at 
Berlin, and of Dr. F. G. Yeo, F.R.S., 
the physiologist. 

Among those who will have received 
an honorary degree from Cambridge 
University on the occasion of the Dar- 
win centenary are three Americans: 
Professor Jacques Loeb, of the Uni- 
versity of California; Dr. Charles D. 
Walcott, secretary of the Smithsonian 
Institution, and Professor E. B. Wil- 
son, of Columbia University. 

Dr. Ira Remsen, president of the 
Johns Hopkins University, has been 
elected president of the Society for 
Chemical Industry. — Dr. E. F. Nichols, 
professor of experimental physics at 
Columbia University, has been elected 
president of Dartmouth College. — Mr. 
Lazarus Fletcher, F.R.S., the keeper 
of the department of mineralogy since 
1880, has been appointed to the post 
of director of the natural history de- 
partments of the British Museum. 



THE 

POPULAR SCIENCE 

MONTHLY. 



AUGUST, 1909 



THE FUTURE OP ASTRONOMY 1 

By Pbofbssob EDWARD C. PICKERING 

HARVARD COLLEGE OBSEBVATOBT 

IT is claimed by astronomers that their science is not only the oldest, 
but that it is the most highly developed of the sciences. Indeed it 
should be so, since no other science has ever received such support from 
royalty, from the state and from the private individual. However this 
may be, there is no doubt that in recent years astronomers have had 
granted to thein greater opportunities for carrying on large pieces of 
work than have been entrusted to men in any other department of pure 
science. One might expect that the practical results of a science like 
physics would appeal to the man who has made a vast fortune through 
some of its applications. The telephone, the electric transmission of 
power, wireless telegraphy and the submarine cable are instances of 
immense financial returns derived from the most abstruse principles of 
physics. Yet there are scarcely any physical laboratories devoted to 
research, or endowed with independent funds for this object, except 
those supported by the government. The endowment of astronomical 
observatories devoted to research, and not including that given for 
teaching, is estimated to amount to half a million dollars annually. 
Several of the larger observatories have an annual income of fifty 
thousand dollars. 

I once asked the wisest man I know, what was the reason for this 
difference. He said that it was probably because astronomy appealed 
to the imagination. A practical man, who has spent all his life in his 
counting room or mill, is sometimes deeply impressed with the vast 

1 Commencement address at Case School of Applied Science, Cleveland, May 
27, 1909. 

VOL LXXV.— 8. 



io6 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

distances and grandeur of the problems of astronomy, and the veiy 
remoteness and difficulty of studying the stars attract him. 

My object in calling your attention to this matter is the hope that 
what I have to say of the organization of astronomy may prove of use 
to those interested in other branches of science, and that it may lead to 
placing them on the footing they should hold. My arguments apply 
with almost equal force to physics, to chemistry, and in fact to almost 
every branch of physical or natural science, in which knowledge may be 
advanced by observation or experiment. 

The practical value of astronomy in the past is easily established. 
Without it, international commerce on a large scale would have been 
impossible. Without the aid of astronomy, accurate boundaries of 
large tracts of land could not have been defined and standard time 
would have been impossible. The work of the early astronomers was 
eminently practical, and appealed at once to every one. This work has 
now been finished. We can compute the positions of the stars for years, 
almost for centuries, with all the accuracy needed for navigation, for 
determining time or for approximate boundaries of countries. The 
investigations now in progress at the greatest observatories have little, 
if any, value in dollars and cents. They appeal, however, to the for 
higher sense, the desire of the intellectual human being to determine 
the laws of nature, the construction of the material universe, and the 
properties of the heavenly bodies of which those known to exist far out- 
number those that can be seen. 

Three great advances have been made in astronomy. First, the 
invention of the telescope, with which we commonly associate the name 
of Galileo, from the wonderful results he obtained with it. At that 
time there was practically no science in America, and for more than 
two centuries we failed to add materially to this invention. Half a 
century ago the genius of the members of one family, Alvan Clark and 
his two sons, placed America in the front rank not only in the con- 
struction, but in the possession, of the largest and most perfect tele- 
scopes ever made. It is not easy to secure the world's record in any 
subject. The Claries constructed successively, the 18-inch lens for 
Chicago, the 26-inch for Washington, the 30-inch for Pulkowa, the 
36-inch for Lick and the 40-inch for Yerkes. Each in turn was the 
largest yet made, and each time the Clarks were called upon to surpass 
the world's record, which they themselves had already established. 
Have we at length reached the limit in size? If we include reflectors, 
no, since we have mirrors of 60 inches aperture at Mt. Wilson and 
Cambridge, and a still larger one of 100 inches has been undertaken. 
It is more than doubtful, however, whether a further increase in size 
is a great advantage. Much more depends on other conditions, espe- 
cially those of climate, the kind of work to be done and, more than all, 



THE FUTURE OF ASTRONOMY 107 

the man behind the gun. The case is not unlike that of a battleship. 
Would a ship a thousand feet long always sink one of five hundred feet? 
It seems as if we had nearly reached the limit of size of telescopes, and 
as if we must hope for the next improvement in some other direction. 

The second great advance in astronomy originated in America, and 
was in an entirely different direction, the application of photography 
to the study of the stars. The first photographic image of a star was 
obtained in 1850, by George P. Bond, with the assistance of Mr. J. A. 
Whipple, at the Harvard College Observatory. A daguerreotype plate 
was placed at the focus of the 15-inch equatorial, at that time one of 
the two largest refracting telescopes in the world. An image of a Lyra 
was thus obtained, and for this Mr. Bond received a gold medal at the 
first international exhibition, that at the Crystal Palace, in London, in 
1851. In 1857, Mr. Bond, then Professor Bond, director of the Har- 
vard Observatory, again took up the matter with collodion wet plates, 
and in three masterly papers showed the advantages of photography in 
many ways. The lack of sensitiveness of the wet plate was perhaps the 
only reason why its use progressed but slowly. Quarter of a century 
later, with the introduction of the dry plate and the gelatine film, a 
new start was made. These photographic plates were very sensitive,, 
were easily handled, and indefinitely long exposures could be made with 
them. As a result, photography has superseded visual observations, in 
many departments of astronomy, and is now carrying them far beyond 
the limits that would have been deemed possible a few years ago. 

The third great advance in astronomy is in photographing the- 
spectra of the stars. The first photograph showing the lines in a stellar 
spectrum was obtained by Dr. Henry Draper, of New York, in 1872- 
Sir William Huggins in 1863 had obtained an image of the spectrum 
of Sirius, on a photographic plate, but no lines were visible in it. In 
1876 he again took up the subject, and, by an early publication, preceded 
Dr. Draper. When we consider the attention the photography of stellar 
spectra is receiving at the present time, in nearly all the great observa- 
tories in the world, it may well be regarded as the third great advance 
in astronomy. 

What will be the fourth advance, and how will it be brought about? 
To answer this question we must consider the various ways in which 
astronomy, and for that matter any other science, may be advanced. 

First, by educating astronomers. There are many observatories 
where excellent instruction in astronomy is given, either to the general 
student or to one who wishes to make it his profession. At almost any 
active observatory a student would be received as a volunteer assistant. 
Unfortunately, few young men can afford to accept an unpaid position, 
and the establishment of a number of fellowships each offering a small 
salary sufficient to support the student would enable him to acquire the 



108 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

necessary knowledge to fill a permanent position. The number of these 
scholarships should not be large, lest more students should undertake 
the work than would be required to fill the permanent paying positions 
in astronomy, as they become vacant. 

In Europe, a favorite method of aiding science is to offer a prize 
for the best memoir on a specified subject. On theoretical grounds this 
is extremely objectionable. Since the papers presented are anonymous 
and confidential, no one but the judges know how great is the effort 
wasted in duplication. The larger the prize, the greater the injury to 
science, since the greater will be the energy diverted from untried fields. 
It would be much wiser to invite applications, select the man most likely 
to produce a useful memoir, and award the prize to him if he achieved 
success. 

The award of a medal, if of great intrinsic value, would be an 
unwise expenditure. The Victoria Cross is an example of a successful 
foundation, highly prized, but of small intrinsic value. If made of 
gold, it would carry no greater honor, and would be more liable to be 
stolen, melted down or pawned. 

Honorary membership in a famous society, or honorary degrees, have 
great value if wisely awarded. Both are highly prized, form an excel- 
lent stimulus to continued work, and as they are both priceless, and 
without price, they in no way diminish the capacity for work. I re- 
cently had occasion to compare the progress in various sciences of 
different countries, and found that the number of persons elected as 
foreign associates of the seven great national societies of the world was 
an excellent test. Eighty-seven persons were members of two or more 
of these societies. Only six are residents of the United States, while an 
equal number come from Saxony, which has only a twentieth of the 
population. Of the six residents here, only three were born in the 
United States. Not a single mathematician, or doctor, from this 
country appears on the list. Only in astronomy are we well repre- 
sented. Out of a total of ten astronomers, four come from England, 
and three from the United States. Comparing the results for the last 
one hundred and fifty years, we find an extraordinary growth for the 
German races, an equally surprising diminution for the French and 
other Latin races, while the proportion of Englishmen has remained 
unchanged. 

A popular method of expending money, both by countries and by 
individuals, is in sending expeditions to observe solar eclipses. These 
appeal both to donors and recipients. The former believe that they are 
making a great contribution to science, while the latter enjoy a long 
voyage to a distant country, and in case of clouds they are not expected 
to make any scientific return. If the sky is clear at the time of the 
eclipse, the newspapers of the next day report that great results have 



THE FUTURE OF ASTRONOMY 109 

been secured, and after that nothing further is ever heard. Exceptions 
should be made of the English Eclipse Committee and the Lick Observa- 
tory, which, by long continued study and observation, are gradually 
solving the difficult problems which can be reached in this way only. 

The gift of a large telescope to a university is of very doubtful 
value, unless it is accompanied, first, by a sum much greater than its 
cost, necessary to keep it employed in useful work, and secondly, to 
require that it shall be erected, not on the university grounds, but in 
some region, probably mountainous or desert, where results of real 
value can be obtained. 

Having thus considered, among others, some of the ways in which 
astronomy is not likely to be much advanced, we proceed to those which 
will secure the greatest scientific return for the outlay. One of the 
best of these is to create a fund to be used in advancing research, sub- 
ject only to the condition that results of the greatest possible value to 
science shall be secured. One advantage of this method is that excel- 
lent results may be obtained at once from a sum, either large or small. 
Whatever is at first given may later be increased indefinitely, if the 
results justify it. One of the wisest as well as the greatest of donors 
has said : " Find the particular man," but unfortunately, this plan has 
been actually tried only with some of the smaller funds. Any one who 
will read the list of researches aided by the Rumford Fund, the 
Elizabeth Thompson Fund or the Bruce Fund of 1890 will see that 
the returns are out of all proportion to the money expended. The 
trustees of such a fund as is here proposed should not regard themselves 
as patrons conferring a favor on those to whom grants are made, but 
as men seeking for the means of securing large scientific returns for 
the money entrusted to them. An astronomer who would aid them in 
this work, by properly expending a grant, would confer rather than 
receive a favor. They should search for astronomical bargains, and 
should try to purchase results where the money could be expended to 
the best advantage. They should make it their business to learn of the 
work of every astronomer engaged in original research. A young man 
who presented a paper of unusual importance at a scientific meeting, 
or published it in an astronomical journal, would receive a letter in- 
viting him to submit plans to the trustees, if he desired aid in extending 
his work. In many cases, it would be found that, after working for 
years under most unfavorable conditions, he had developed a method of 
great value and had applied it to a few stars, but must now stop for 
want of means. A small appropriation would enable him to employ an 
assistant who, in a short time, could do equally good work. The appli- 
cation of this method to a hundred or a thousand stars would then be 
only a matter of time and money. 

The American Astronomical Society met last August at a summer 



no THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

resort on Lake Erie. About thirty astronomers read papers, and in a 
large portion of the cases the appropriation of a few hundred dollars 
would have permitted a great extension in these researches. A sad 
case is that of a brilliant student who may graduate at a college, take a 
doctor's degree in astronomy, and perhaps pass a year or two in study 
at a foreign observatory. He then returns to this country, enthusiastic 
and full of ideas, and considers himself fortunate in securing a position 
as astronomer in a little country college. He now finds himself over- 
whelmed with work as a teacher, without time or appliances for original 
work. What is worse, no one sympathizes with him in his aspirations, 
and after a few years he abandons hope and settles down to the dull 
routine of lectures, recitations and examinations. A little encourage- 
ment at the right time, aid by offering to pay for an assistant, for a 
suitable instrument, or for publishing results, and perhaps a word to 
the president of his college if the man showed real genius, might make 
a great astronomer, instead of a poor teacher. For several years, a 
small fund, yielding a few hundred dollars annually, has been disbursed 
at Harvard in this way, with very encouraging results. 

A second method of aiding astronomy is through the large observa- 
tories. These institutions, if properly managed, have after years of 
careful study and trial developed elaborate systems of solving the great 
problems of the celestial universe. They are like great factories, which 
by taking elaborate precautions to save waste at every point, and by 
improving in every detail both processes and products, are at length 
obtaining results on a large scale with a perfection and economy far 
greater than is possible by individuals, or smaller institutions. The 
expenses of such an observatory are very large, and it has no pecuniary 
return, since astronomical products are not salable. A great portion of 
the original endowment has been spent on the plant, expensive buildings 
and instruments. Current expenditures, like library expenses, heating, 
lighting, etc., are independent of the output. It is like a man swim- 
ming up stream. He may struggle desperately^ and yet make no 
progress. Any gain in power effects a real advance. This is the con- 
dition of nearly all the larger observatories. Their income is mainly 
used for current expenses, which would be nearly the same whatever 
their output. A relatively small increase in income can thus be spent 
to great advantage. The principal instruments are rarely used to their 
full capacities, and the methods employed could be greatly extended 
without any addition to the executive or other similar expenses. A man 
superintending the work of several assistants can often have their num- 
ber doubled, and his output increased in nearly the same proportion, 
with no additional expense except the moderate one of their salaries. 
A single observatory could thus easily do double the work that could be 
accomplished if its resources were divided between two of half the size. 



THE FUTURE OF ASTRONOMY in 

A third, and perhaps the best, method of making a real advance in 
astronomy is by securing the united work of the leading astronomers of 
the world. The best example of this is the work undertaken in 1870 
by the Astronomische Gesellschaft, the great astronomical society of 
the world. The sky was divided into zones, and astronomers were in- 
vited to measure the positions of all the stars in these zones. The 
observation of two of the northern and two of the southern zones were 
undertaken by American observatories. The zone from +1° to + 5° 
was undertaken by the Chicago Observatory, but was abandoned owing 
to the great fire of 1871, and the work was assumed and carried to com- 
pletion by the Dudley Observatory at Albany. The zone from + &0° 
to + 55 ° was undertaken by Harvard. An observer and corps of 
assistants worked on this problem for a quarter of a century. The 
completed results now fill seven quarto volumes of our annals. Of the 
southern zones, that from — 14° to — 18° was undertaken by the 
Naval Observatory at Washington, and is now finished. The zone from 
— 10° to — 14° was undertaken at Harvard, and a second observer 
and corps of assistants have been working on it for twenty years. It is 
now nearly completed, and we hope to begin its publication this year. 
The other zones were taken by European astronomers. As a result of 
the whole, we have the precise positions of nearly a hundred and fifty 
thousand stars, which serve as a basis for the places of all the objects 
in the sky. 

Another example of cooperative work is a plan proposed by the 
writer in 1906, at the celebration of the two-hundredth anniversary of 
the birth of Franklin. It was proposed, first to find the best place 
in the world for an astronomical observatory, which would probably be 
in South Africa, to erect there a telescope of the largest size, a reflector 
of seven feet aperture. This instrument should be kept at work through- 
out every clear night, taking photographs according to a plan recom- 
mended by an international committee of astronomers. The resulting 
plates should not be regarded as belonging to a single institution, but 
should be at the service of whoever could make the best use of them. 
Copies of any, or all, would be furnished at cost to any one who wished 
for them. As an example of their use, suppose that an astronomer at 
a little German University should discover a law regulating the stars 
in clusters. Perhaps he has only a small telescope, near the smoke 
and haze of a large city, and has no means of securing the photographs 
he needs. He would apply to the committee, and they would vote that 
ten photographs of twenty clusters, each with an exposure of an hour, 
should be taken with the large telescope. This would occupy about a 
tenth part of the time of the telescope for a year. After making copies, 
the photographs would be sent to the astronomer who would perhaps 
spend ten years in studying and measuring them. The committee 



ii2 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

would have funds at their disposal to furnish him, if necessary, with 
suitable measuring instruments, assistants for reducing the results, and 
means for publication. They would thus obtain the services of the 
most skilful living astronomers, each in his own special line of work, 
and the latter would obtain in their own homes material for study, the 
best that the world could supply. Undoubtedly, by such a combination 
if properly organized, results could be obtained far better than is now 
possible by the best individual work, and at a relatively small expense. 
Many years of preparation will evidently be needed to carry out such a 
plan, and to save time we have taken the first step and have sent a 
skilful and experienced observer to South Africa to study its climate 
and compare it with the experience he has gained during the last 
twenty years from a similar study of the climate of South America and 
the western portion of the United States. 

The next question to be considered is in what direction we may ex- 
pect the greatest advance in astronomy will be made. Fortunate in- 
deed would be the astronomer who could answer this question cor- 
rectly. When Ptolemy made the first catalogue of the stars, he little 
expected that his observations would have any value nearly two thou- 
sand years later. The alchemists had no reason to doubt that their re- 
sults were as important as those of the chemists. The astrologers were 
respected as much as the astronomers. Although there is a certain 
amount of fashion in astronomy, yet perhaps the best test is the judg- 
ment of those who have devoted their lives to that science. Thirty 
years ago the field was narrow. It was the era of big telescopes. 
Every astronomer wanted a larger telescope than his neighbors, with 
which to measure double stars. If he could not get such an instrument, 
he measured the positions of the stars with a transit circle. Then came 
astrophysics, including photography, spectroscopy and photometry. 
The study of the motion of the stars along the line of sight, by means 
of photographs of their spectra, is now the favorite investigation at 
nearly all the great observatories of the world. The study of the sur- 
faces of the planets, while the favorite subject with the public, next to 
the destruction of the earth by a comet, does not seem to appeal to 
astronomers. Undoubtedly, the only way to advance our knowledge in 
this direction is by the most powerful instruments, mounted in the best 
possible locations. Great astronomers are very conservative, and any 
sensational story in the newspapers is likely to have but little support 
from them. Instead of aiding, it greatly injures real progress in 
science. 

There is no doubt that, during the next half century, much time and 
energy will be devoted to the study of the fixed stars. The study of 
their motions as indicated by their change in position was pursued with 
great care by the older astronomers. The apparent motions were so 



THE FUTURE OF ASTRONOMY 113 

small that a long series of years was required and, in general, for want 
of early observations of the precise positions of the faint stars, this work 
was confined mainly to the bright stars. Photography is yearly adding 
a vast amount of material available for this study, but the minuteness 
of the quantities to be measured renders an accurate determination of 
their laws very difficult. Moreover, we can thus only determine the 
motions at right angles to the line of sight, the motion towards us or 
from us being entirely insensible in this way. Then came the discovery 
of the change in the spectrum when a body was in motion, but still this 
change was so small that visual observations of it proved of but little 
value. Attaching a carefully constructed spectroscope to one of the 
great telescopes of the world, photographing the spectrum of a star, 
and measuring it with the greatest care, provided a tool of wonderful 
efficiency. The motion, which sometimes amounts to several hundreds 
of miles a second could thus be measured to within a fraction of a mile. 
The discovery that the motion was variable, owing to the star's revolv- 
ing around a great dark planet sometimes larger than the star, added 
greatly not only to the interest of these researches, but also to the labor 
involved. Instead of a single measure for each star, in the case of the 
so-called spectroscopic binaries, we must make enough measures to de- 
termine the dimensions of the orbit, its form and the period of 
revolution. 

What has been said of the motions of the stars applies also, in gen- 
eral, to the determination of their distances. A vast amount of labor 
has been expended on this problem. When at length the distance of a 
single star was finally determined, the quantity to be measured was so 
small as to be nearly concealed by the unavoidable errors of measure- 
ment. The parallax, or one half of the change in the apparent position 
of the stars as the earth moves around the sun, has its largest value for 
the nearest stars. No case has yet been found in which this quantity is 
as large as a foot rule seen at a distance of fifty miles, and for com- 
paratively few stars is it certainly appreciable. An extraordinary degree 
of precision has been attained in recent measures of this quantity, but 
for a really satisfactory solution of this problem, we must probably 
devise some new method, like the use of the spectroscope for deter- 
mining motions. Two or three illustrations of the kind of methods 
which might be used to solve this problem may be of interest. There are 
certain indications of the presence of a selective absorbing medium in 
space. That is, a medium like red glass, for instance, which would cut 
off the blue light more than the red light. Such a medium would 
render the blue end of the spectrum of a distant star much fainter, as 
compared with the red end, than in the case of a near star. A measure 
of the relative intensity of the two rays would serve to measure the dis- 
tance, or thickness of the absorbing medium. The effect would be the 



ii4 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

same for all stars of the same class of spectrum. It could be tested by 
the stars forming a cluster, like the Pleiades, which are doubtless all at 
nearly the same distance from us. The spectra of stars of the tenth 
magnitude, or fainter, can be photographed well enough to be measured 
in this way, so that the relative distances of nearly a million stars could 
be thus determined. 

Another method which would have a more limited application, would 
depend on the velocity of light. It has been maintained that the veloc- 
ity of light in space is not the same for different colors. Certain stars, 
called Algol stars, vary in light at regular intervals when partially 
eclipsed by the interposition of a large dark satellite. Recent observa- 
tions of these eclipses, through glass of different colors, show variations 
in the time of obscuration. Apparently, some of the rays reach the 
earth sooner than others, although all leave the star at the same time. 
As the entire time may amount to several centuries, an excessively 
small difference in velocity would be recognizable. A more delicate 
test would be to measure the intensity of different portions of the 
spectrum at a time when the light is changing most rapidly. The effect 
should he opposite according as the light is increasing or diminishing. 
It should also show itself in the measures of all spectroscopic binaries. 

A third method of great promise depends on a remarkable investiga- 
tion carried on in the physical laboratory of the Case School of Applied 
Science. According to the undulatory theory of light, all space is filled 
with a medium called ether, like air, but as much more tenuous than 
air as air is more tenuous than the densest metals. As the earth is 
moving through space at the rate of several miles a second, we should 
expect to feel a breeze as we rush through the ether, like that of the 
air when in an automobile we are moving with but one thousandth 
part of this velocity. The problem is one of the greatest delicacy, but 
a former officer of the Case School, one of the most eminent of living 
physicists, devised a method of solving it. The extraordinary result 
was reached that no breeze was perceptible. This result appeared 
to be so improbable that it has been tested again and again, but every 
time, the more delicate the instrument employed, the more certainly 
is the law established. If we could determine our motion with refer- 
ence to the ether, we should have a fixed line of reference to which 
all other motions could be referred. This would give us a line of ever- 
increasing length from which to measure stellar distances. 

Still another method depends on the motion of the sun in space. 
There is some evidence that this motion is not straight, but along a 
curved line. We see the stars, not as they are now, but as they were 
when the light left them. In the case of the distant stars this may have 
occurred centuries ago. Accordingly, if we measure the motion of the 
sun from them, and from near stars, a comparison with its actual mo- 



THE FUTURE OF ASTRONOMY 115 

tion will give us a clue to their distances. Unfortunately, all the stars 
appear to have large motions whose law we do not know, and therefore 
we have no definite starting point unless we can refer all to the ether 
which may be assumed to be at rest. 

If the views expressed to you this morning are correct, we may ex- 
pect that the future of astronomy will take the following form : There 
will be at least one very large observatory employing one or two hun- 
dred assistants, and maintaining three stations. Two of these will be 
observing stations, one in the western part of the United States, not far 
from latitude + 30°, the other similarly situated in the southern hem- 
isphere, probably in South Africa, in latitude — 30°. The locations 
will be selected wholly from their climatic conditions. They will be 
moderately high, from five to ten thousand feet, and in desert regions. 
The altitude will prevent extreme heat, and clouds or rain will be rare. 
The range of temperature and unsteadiness of the air will be dimin- 
ished by placing them on hills a few hundred feet above the surround- 
ing country. The equipment and work of the two stations will be 
substantially the same. Each will have telescopes and other instruments 
of the largest size, which will be kept at work throughout the whole of 
every clear night. The observers will do but little work in the day- 
time, except perhaps on the sun, and will not undertake much of the 
computation or reductions. This last work will be carried on at a third 
station, which will be near a large city where the cost of living and of 
intellectual labor is low. The photographs will be measured and 
stored at this station, and all the results will be prepared for publica- 
tion, and printed there. The work of all three stations will be care- 
fully organized so as to obtain the greatest result for a given expendi- 
ture. Every inducement will be offered to visiting astronomers who 
wish to do serious work at either of the stations and also to students 
who intend to make astronomy their profession. In the case of photo- 
graphic investigations it will be best to send the photographs so that 
astronomers desiring them can work at home. The work of the young 
astronomers throughout the world will be watched carefully and large 
appropriations made to them if it appears that they can spend them to 
advantage. Similar aid will be rendered to astronomers engaged in 
teaching, and to any one, professional or amateur, capable of doing 
work of the highest grade. As a fundamental condition for success, 
no restrictions will be made that will interfere with the greatest scien- 
tific efficiency, and no personal or local prejudices that will restrict the 
work. 

These plans may seem to you visionary, and too Utopian for the 
twentieth century. But they may be nearer fulfilment than we antici- 
pate. The true astronomer of to-day is eminently a practical man. 
He does not accept plans of a sensational character. The same qualities 



n6 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

are needed in directing a great observatory successfully, as in managing 
a railroad, or factory. Any one can propose a gigantic expenditure, 
but to prove to a shrewd man of affairs that it is feasible and advisable 
is a very different matter. It is much more difficult to give away money 
wisely than to earn it. Many men have made great fortunes, but few 
have learned how to expend money wisely in advancing science, or to 
give it away judiciously. Many persons have given large sums to 
astronomy, and some day we shall find the man with broad views who 
will decide to have the advice and aid of the astronomers of the world, 
in his plans for promoting science, and who will thus expend his 
money, as he made it, taking the greatest care that not one dollar is 
wasted. Again, let us consider the next great advance, which perhaps 
will be a method of determining the distances of the stars. Many of 
us are working on this problem, the solution of which may come to some 
one any day. The present field is a wide one, the prospects are now 
very bright, and we may look forward to as great an advance in the 
twentieth century, as in the nineteenth. May a portion of this come 
to the Case School and, with your support, may its enviable record, in 
the past, be surpassed by its future achievements. 



THE FUTURE OF MATHEMATICS 117 



THE FUTUKE OF MATHEMATICS 

By Pbofbssob O. A. MILLER 

DNIVBBSITT OF ILLINOI8 

PBOFESSOR A. VOSS, of the University of Munich, recently made 
the following statement : " Our entire present civilization, as far 
as it depends upon the intellectual penetration and utilization of nature, 
has its real foundation in the mathematical sciences." 1 He adds that 
this truth finds expression in the ever-increasing appreciation of the 
educational value of mathematics, notwithstanding the fact that it is 
the most unpopular of all the sciences. This unpopularity is natural 
since " unpopularity is an essential feature of a real science," because 
such a science can be comprehended only through tireless and continued 
efforts. 

An intelligent expression as regards the future of mathematics must 
be based not only upon the past and present state of this science, but 
also upon its real essence. One of those elements which mathematics 
has in common with some of the other sciences, but which are more 
prominent in mathematics than in any of the others, is the tendency 
to use thought in the most economical manner. When one considers 
the extent to which efforts to simplify methods, theorems and formulas 
direct mathematical endeavor, one must admit that the statement 
"Mathematics is the science of saving thought" expresses a great 
truth, even if it is too sweeping to serve as a definition. 

That mathematics is the science which is preeminently devoted to 
the discovery and mapping of routes along which thought may ascend 
securely and with the greatest ease, is supported by the fact that it 
has the oldest and the most extensive symbolical language. In the 
introduction to his classic history of mathematics, Moritz Cantor asks, 
"Why has mathematics, since the remotest times, found support, 
simplification and advancement by means of word symbols, whether 
these are number symbols or other mathematical symbols ?" Although 
the oldest of these word symbols are probably relics of a very ancient 
picture language, yet it is of great interest that in mathematics the 
picture language was retained and used side by side with an alphabetic 
and syllabic language, while the latter displaced the former elsewhere. 
Even those who have mastered only the elements of algebra and the 

1 Vos8, "Ueber das Wesen der Mathematik." Rede gehalten om 11. Marz, 
1008, in der oeffentlicben Sitzung der k. bayerischen Akademie der Wissen- 
scnaften; Teubner, 1908, p. 4. 



n8 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

differential calculus are in position to appreciate the value of mathe- 
matical symbols for the purpose of centralizing and intensifying 
thought. 

It is true that some of the roads which mathematical thought has 
made through great difficulties have been practically abandoned and 
that the popularity of many of the others has changed from time to 
time. Among the former we may class the results of investigations 
recorded at the beginning of the oldest extensive mathematical work 
that has been deciphered, viz., the formulas relating to unit fractions 
which are found in the nearly four thousand-years-old work of 
Ahmes. A subject which appears to have been placed at the very 
beginning of advanced mathematical instruction four thousand years 
ago is now entirely abandoned in our courses, except when the history 
of the development of the science is under consideration. While 
mathematics presents a number of other roads which are now of interest 
only to the historian, yet there are also many which have been known 
for centuries and which have been pursued with profit and pleasure 
by great minds in all the civilized nations. The latter class includes 
all the longer ones leading gradually to points of view from which the 
connection between many natural phenomena may be clearly discerned. 

The intellectual heights reached by means of a long series of con- 
nected mathematical theorems do not always reveal their greatest lesson 
to the first explorers. For instance, the large body of facts relating 
to conic sections, developed by Apollonius and other Greek geometers, 
became a much greater glory to the human mind through the discovery, 
nearly two thousand years later, that the bodies of the solar system de- 
scribe conic sections. Such experiences in the past tend to justify the 
fact that a large number of men are devoting their lives to the discovery 
of abstract results irrespective of applications, and they tend to explain 
why the largest prize (about twenty-five thousand dollars) ever offered 
for a mathematical theorem is being offered for a theorem in number 
theory, which is not expected to have any application to subjects out- 
side of pure mathematics. 

There seems to be a general impression abroad to the effect that 
mathematics and the ancient languages constituted the main parts of 
the curriculum8 of our colleges and universities a century or two ago. 
As regards mathematics this is quite contrary to fact, as may be 
seen from a few historical data. Less than two centuries ago the 
students in Harvard College began the study of arithmetic in their 
senior year. In fact, no knowledge of any mathematics was required 
to enter Harvard before 1803, and it was not until 1816 that the whole 
of arithmetic was required for entrance. In other American institu- 
tions the mathematical situation was generally worse, and in Europe 
the improvements were not very much earlier. It is during compara- 



THE FUTURE OF MATHEMATICS 119 

tively recent years that mathematics has made most of its gains towards 
being recognized as a fundamental science, and the study of advanced 
mathematics in our universities had a still later origin. 

The rapid recent advances in various fields of mathematics have 
given rise to a very optimistic spirit as to the future. Although we 
still hold in high esteem the brilliant discoveries of the Greeks, we 
are inclined to give much more thought and attention to recent work, 
as may be seen from the references in the extensive German and French 
mathematical encyclopedias which are in the process of being published. 
The history of mathematics furnishes many instances of the vanishing 
of apparently insurmountable barriers. We need only recall the barrier 
created by the Greek custom of confining oneself to the rule and circle 
in the most acceptable geometric constructions, and the very formidable 
barrier furnished by the imaginary, and even by the negative and the 
irrational roots of a quadratic equation. 

Those who fixed their attention upon these barriers in the past 
have naturally been led to think that the days of important advances 
in mathematics were about ended and that it only remained to fill in 
details. Such predictions had few supporters when new methods led 
over these barrier and turned them into steps to richer mathematical 
domains. As this process has been repeated so often it has gradually 
reduced the number of those to whom the future of mathematics looked 
dark. In fact, Poincar6, in his address 2 before the Fourth Inter- 
national Congress of Mathematicians, which was held at Rome, in April, 
1908, said that all those who held these views are dead. 

These facts seem to justify a very hopeful spirit as regards future 
progress, but it is necessary to examine them with great care in order 
to deduce from them any helpful suggestions as to the probable nature 
of this progress. Such prognostications clearly demand a mind that 
can deal with big problems as well as a thorough acquaintance with the 
past and the present developments in mathematics, to insure that the 
results obtained by a kind of extrapolation may be worthy of confidence. 
It is doubtful whether any living mathematician would be more gen- 
erally regarded as qualified to make reliable predictions along this line 
than Poincar6, of Paris. The address to which we referred in the 
preceding paragraph was devoted to this subject and we proceed to 
give some of the main results. 

The objects of mathematical thought are so numerous that we can- 
not expect to exhaust them. This appears the more evident since the 
mathematician creates new concepts from the elements which are 
presented to him by nature. Hence there must be a choice of subject 
matter, but who is to do the choosing? Some are inclined to think 
that the mathematician should confine himself to those problems which 
9 Bulletin dea Sciences Mathematiques, Vol. 32 (1908), p. 168. 



i2o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

may be set for him by the physicist or the engineer. If he had done 
this in the past he would not have created the instruments necessary to 
solve such problems, and hence it is unreasonable to make such re- 
strictions as to the future. 

If the physicists of the eighteenth century had abandoned the study 
of electricity because it seemed to serve no useful end, we should not 
have had the many useful applications of electricity during the nine- 
teenth century. Similarly, if the mathematician had abandoned the 
study of negative and imaginary numbers because they seemed to 
point only to impossibilities, we should not have had the many power- 
ful instruments of thought which enable us to cope more successfully 
with many problems of nature. Just as the physicist is largely guided 
in his work by those facts which seem to point to general laws, so 
the mathematician is guided in his work by the desire to discover ex- 
tensive relations and laws having a wide range of application. Millions 
of isolated facts present themselves to the investigator, some of which 
are of striking interest to the initiated, but they are of practically no 
value in the development of mathematics except that they may some- 
times serve as an exercise in secondary instruction. 

At a first thought the statement that " Mathematics is the art of 
giving the same name to different things " may appear to be entirely 
contrary to fact, but from a certain standpoint this statement conveys 
a very fundamental truth. It should be borne in mind that these dif- 
ferent things must have in common the property to which this com- 
mon name refers, and that it is the duty of the mathematician to 
discover and exhibit this common property. By way of illustration 
we may recall the use of x for various unknowns in algebra and the 
(1,1) correspondence between the two series of operators. When the 
language has been properly chosen it is often surprising to find that 
the demonstrations, as regards a known object, apply immediately to 
a large number of new objects without even a change of name. 

Just as the boundaries between the elementary subjects of mathe- 
matics — arithmetic, algebra and geometry — vanish when the knowledge 
of these subjects is sufficiently extended, so the boundaries between 
subjects in pure and applied mathematics are disappearing, and it is 
exactly in these bordered lands, or in this common territory of two or 
more subjects, where the greatest recent progress has been made and 
where the greatest future activity may be expected. The work in this 
common territory is made possible by observing similarity of form where 
there is dissimilarity of matter, or by observing some other common 
properties which admit mathematical treatment. 

In Poincar6's address some of these general observations were illus- 
trated by numerous examples chosen from various fields of higher 
mathematics. On the contrary, we shall confine our illustrative ex- 



TEE FUTURE OF MATHEMATICS 121 

amples to elementary subjects. Our first effort will be directed towards 
exhibiting some territory which is common to each of the four subjects 
— arithemtic, geometry, algebra and trigonometry. By observing com- 
mon properties we shall not only see a bond connecting these fund a* 
mental subjects, but we shall also be led to general methods which 
make it unnecessary to study the same properties in different forms. 
The thing to be emphasized is that these four elementary subjects have 
in common fundamental notions which not only connect them, but 
also establish contact between them and many other subjects. Such a 
fundamental notion is a group of order 8, known as the octic group. 
Some of the properties of this group may be easily seen by considering 
the possible movements of space which transform a square into itself. 

The period or order of a movement represents the number of times 
the movement must be made in order to arrive at the identity, or at 
the original position. It is clear that the eight movements of the 
square include two of period four, five of period two, and the identity 
A profound study of these eight movements would disclose many in- 
teresting facts. For instance, it would be seen that only two of them 
(the square of these of period four and the identity) are commutative 
with each one of others, while each one of the remaining six is com- 
mutative with only four of the possible eight movements. Although 
a profound study of this group of eight movements would be necessary 
to exhibit the fundamental role which it plays in the various subjects, 
it is not necessary to enter deeply into its properties in order to see 
that it is common to the four subjects mentioned above. 

At a first thought it might appear as if these eight movements had 
nothing in common with trigonometry, but a very fundamental con- 
nection may be seen as follows: If the vertex of the angle A is the 
center of a square and the initial line of A coincides with a line of 
symmetry of the square, the operations of taking the complement and 
the supplement of A correspond to movements transforming the square 
into itself. Hence the eight angles which may be obtained from a given 
angle by a repetition of finding supplement and complement may be 
placed in a (1, 1) correspondence with the eight movements of the 
square. As these eight angles play such a fundamental role in ele- 
mentary trigonometry, it has been suggested that our ordinary school 
trigonometry might appropriately be called the trigonometry of the 
octic group, or the trigonometry of the group of movements of the 
square. 

Although the eight operations of the octic group do not occupy such 
an important place in elementary arithmetic as in geometry and trig- 
onometry, yet these operations serve to explain some facts which pre- 
sent themselves in the most elementary arithmetic processes. For 
instance, the operations of subtracting from 2 and dividing 2 lead, in 

vol. lxxv.— 9. 



i22 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

general, to eight distinct numbers. Starting with 5, these eight num- 
bers are 

5,-3, %,-%,%, %,%,%. 

No new number is obtained by dividing 2 by any of these numbers or 
by subtracting any of them from 2. The proof of the fact that the 
eight operations by means of which each one of these eight numbers 
may be derived from any one of them have the same properties 
in relation to each other as the eight movements of the square is not 
difficult, but it involves details which may be omitted in a popular 
exposition. 

An instance where the octic group plays an important role in alge- 
bra is furnished by the three- valued function xy -\- zw, which is funda- 
mental in the theory of the general equation of the fourth degree. On 
account of the existence of this function the solution of the general 
equation of the fourth degree may be made to depend upon the solu- 
tion of the general equation of the third degree. This function is 
transformed into itself by eight substitutions, and we may arrange its 
letters separately on the vertices of a square in such a way that the 
eight substitutions transforming the function into itself correspond to 
the eight movements which transform the square into itself. Such an 
arrangement exhibits the intimate relations between this function and 
the movements of a square, and the preceding examples illustrate the 
fact that the octic group finds application in each of the elementary 
subjects — arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, and that it 
forms a part of the domain common to all of these disciplines. 

In a similar manner other groups could be traced through these 
elementary subjects of mathematics and it could be shown that the 
theory of these groups may be used to clarify many fundamental points 
and to exhibit deep-seated contact. If the common domains will fur- 
nish the most active fields of future investigations in accord with the 
predictions of Poincare, and if we may expect the greatest future 
progress to be based upon the modeling of the less advanced science 
upon the one which has made the more progress, it is reasonable to 
expect that a subject like group theory will grow in favor, and that 
some of the elements of this subject will become a part of the ordinary 
courses in secondary mathematics. In support of this view we may 
quote a recent statement by Professor Bryan, President of the Mathe- 
matical Association, which is as follows : " I believe Professor Perry 
will get some very good material for applications out of the theory of 
groups, when explorers have first made their discoveries, and when the 
colonists have been over it and surveyed it, and discovered means for 
cultivating it. We do not know anything about its practical appli- 
cations now." 8 

B T/ie Mathematical Gazette, January, 1909, p. 17. 



THE FUTURE OF MATHEMATICS 123 

The future of mathematics appears bright, both for the investigator 
and for the teacher. When a country which has such an enlight- 
ened educational system as France increased the amount of time de- 
voted to secondary mathematics so recently as 1902 and again in 1906, 
it furnishes one of the strongest possible encouragements to the teacher 
who may have been troubled by the thought that the educational value 
of mathematics was not being as fully appreciated as in earlier years. 
Naturally we may expect that there will be local changes of view as 
regards the value of mathematics as an educational subject, and these 
changes will not always be for the better, but the civilized world, as a 
whole, is learning to appreciate more and more the fundamental im- 
portance of early mathematical training, so that we should not be too 
much perturbed by local steps backwards, but we should move ahead 
with the assurance that we are engaged in a work of the highest peda- 
gogical importance. 

The boundless confidence in the importance of early and extensive 
mathematical training should, however, not blind us to the need of 
changes and new adaptations. As an important function of mathe- 
matical training is the furnishing of the most useful and the most 
powerful tools of thought, it is evident that the choice of these tools 
will vary with the advancement of general knowledge. All admit that 
the concept of a derivative is one of the most useful elementary tools 
of thought, and in a number of countries this concept has been intro- 
duced into secondary mathematics and used with success. At the last 
International Mathematical Congress, held at Rome, M. Borel, of 
Paris, reported that the notion of derivative had been introduced into 
French secondary education in 1902 and that it had led to satisfactory 
results. At the same meeting M. Beke, of Budapest, stated that this 
notion, together with the notion of function and graph, had been intro- 
duced into the courses of secondary education in Hungary. 

At the recent joint conference of the Mathematical Association and 
the Federated Association of London Non-Primary Teachers, the chair- 
man remarked : " I have always thought that a mathematician was a 
man who when he wants to find anything out, uses his brains for that 
purpose, whereas a physicist, when he wants to find out anything, re- 
sorts to experiment." Although this statement is not to be construed 
literally, yet it does involve a great partial truth and it calls attention 
to elements which insure mathematical appreciation as long as there 
is scientific thought. " It is the mind that sees as well as the eye," 
and the mind sees some of the greatest truths most clearly by means of 
mathematical symbolism. In fact, mathematical symbols serve both 
as a telescope and also as a microscope for mental vision, and as long 
as such vision is demanded the teacher of mathematics will be ap- 
preciated. 



i2 4 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE "DRUID STONES" OF BRITTANY 

By Pbofessob J. S. KINGSLEY 

TUFTS COLLEGE 

THE writer makes no pretense of being an archeologist, but finding 
few accounts of the wonderful megalithic monuments of Brittany 
in English, he has written this account of his visit to them as thread on 
which to string a few pictures. Those huge stones erected by human 
hands — no one knows by whom or why or when — which are called mega- 
lithic monuments, occur throughout western Europe, from the " Huns' 
beds " east of the Zuider Zee, through Britain, France and Spain and 
into northern Africa, across the Strait of Gibraltar, but nowhere are 
they as numerous or striking as in Brittany. The tourist is familiar 
with that strange circle of standing stones at Stonehenge and, to a less 
extent with " Kit's Coty House " in Kent and the circle at Avebury, 
but Morbihan is far out of the usual track and hence is seen by compar- 
atively few of our people. 

The department of Morbihan lies on the southern shore of Brittany, 
three hundred miles in a straight line west of Paris, and considerably 
farther as the trains run. The part of it where these megaliths abound 
is, perhaps, twenty miles, east and west, and ten north and south. It 
contains no large cities — Vannes, the capital, has not twenty-five thou- 
sand inhabitants — it has no churches or art galleries starred in Bade- 
ker; its sole attractions are its delightful inhabitants who still adhere 
to their ancient costumes, and the monuments. 

Archeologists divide these standing stones into different categories, 
according to the way they are arranged, and each kind has its name 
derived from either the Keltic or the French. There are menhirs 
(Keltic, long stones) which stand upright in the soil, usually upon the 
smaller end. Menhirs may be isolated, scattered here and there through 
the region, or they may be arranged in lines or rows (alignments) 
stretching across the fields. In certain places the menhirs form square 
or semicircular enclosures called cromlechs (Keltic, curved stones). 

Again, the megaliths have been built into chambers, the walls com- 
posed of upright stones placed close together, and roofed in by one or 
more large blocks of stone. These are the dolmens 1 (table stones), the 
enlarged chamber being usually reached by a narrower passage, though 
occasionally the entrance is in one side of the chamber. In some cases 

1 In England the dolmens are frequently called cromlechs. 



"DRUID STONES" OF BRITTANY 125 

instead of a true dolmen there is a narrow passage alone, an allee 
co avert e. Various subdivisions of these types are recognized, but they 
may be ignored here. 

It was to see these megaliths that we took the all-day journey (really 
only 148 miles) across Brittany. It was early morning when we left the 
wonderful rock of St. Michel's Mount and the omelettes of the now 
reconciled Poulards, with whose quarrels all travelers are familiar. 
Half an hour by tram took us to Pontorson. Why do places like Pon- 
torson exist? Our two hours were one continual struggle with station 
agent, hack drivers and porters, all of whom were insistent that we 
should drive out to Mt. St. Michel. " One franc a person " but we 
knew their ways; half way there would be a demand for a pourboire 
which would make the original fare look like twenty cents. Besides, we 
had just come from the Mount, and why should we go back ? At Dol 
another wait, this time long enough to get an early lunch, before we 
could get a cross-country train for Rennes. Up to that day Rennes had 
been associated in our minds with the Dreyfus trial of a few years ago. 
Two hours here were sufficient to assure us that Badeker did not 
slander the town when he wrote that with its 75,000 inhabitants, " its 
spacious modern streets are generally dull, lifeless and deserted." 
Next a wait of an hour at Redon before taking the last train of the 
day — the Nantes-l'Orient express for Auray, which we reached just in 
time for dinner at the most comfortable and hospitable Pavilion hotel. 

One may go in various ways from the railway to the monuments, 
but there is a best way — by carriage. There is the route from Vannes, 
taking a boat down through the sea of Morbihan to Locmariaquer. It 
is a picturesque route through a land-locked arm of the sea, studded with 
islands, like a miniature Casco Bay. But it is not to be depended upon, 
as the sailing of the steamers varies with the tides. It is cheaper to 
take the train from Auray to Carnac station on the little road to Quib- 
eron, and then the little tram to Carnac village and to Erdeven. This 
brings one within easy walking distance of the principal alignments; 
but to reach the other monuments a carriage is convenient ; even neces- 
sary, if one is to see the important menhirs, dolmens, etc., of Locmaria- 
quer. Besides, the foot traveler will have to have a guide, otherwise he 
will waste much time and probably will miss much that he ought to 
see. Badeker's map is on too small a scale to be of much assistance. 

The total drive from Auray to all of the standing stones is about 
thirty-five miles, but by cutting out some which apparently were repe- 
titions of others, we made our round trip about twenty-five miles. The 
country traversed is best described in the terms of physical geography 
as a peneplain and the shore to the south as a drowned coast. It is 
nearly level, with no hills rising markedly above the rest of the country. 

We saw the first of the monuments about six miles out of Auray and 



126 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

our first glimpse was rather disappointing. A couple of hundred feet 
to the left of the road was the first dolmen, a dozen stones, about five 
feet high, standing upright in a pasture, and roofed in by two large 
stones lying across them. It recalled a child's house on a large scale, 
built out of the lichen-covered stones of the field. By its side stood a 
square stone monument announcing that this dolmen of Keriaval is the 
property of the French Kepublic, and that any one injuring it in any 
way will be prosecuted. It may be said that by each group in the entire 
district is a similar stone. On the other side of the road are three dol- 
mens, close together, standing scarcely above the surrounding soil but 
excavated inside so that one may stand upright in the interior. 

It would serve no useful purpose to give our itinerary in detail, but 
a clearer idea of these strange structures may be given by a general 
description of the monuments as a whole, specifying here and there 
those of more particular interest from size or other features. 

Possibly the most striking of all are the alignments. Certainly 
they are the most difficult to explain. Of these there are several groups, 
each distinct from its fellows, and yet the whole series being in the 
same belt. Many of the stones have tumbled down and some have been 
utilized in building walls and houses. Thus the little church of St. 
Comply at Carnac is built entirely of menhirs, broken up into blocks 
of convenient size, while the curious crown that surmounts its west 
portal was carved out of a single menhir. Le Rouzic, whom I shall 
often quote, says that the series of alignments once extended from a 
point to the west of the village of Carnac, five miles east to the Crac'h 
Iliver, while other series occur further west, near Erdeven. 



Fir;. 1. Dolmen of Keriaval, half way between Auray and Carnac. 



DRUID STONES" OF BRITTANY 127 



Fig. 2. Interior of the Dolmen op Kerioned, across the road from Ktfrlaval. 

We visited the three alignments near Carnac — M6nec to the west, 
Kermario in the middle and Kerlescan to the east. Of these Menec 
is the most extensive and the best preserved, but the menhirs in the 
others are larger. That these alignments are distinct from each other 
and are not parts of a single one is shown by several facts. They are 
separated by considerable intervals, the gap betweei Menec and Ker- 
mario being a thousand feet; between Kermario and Kerlescan over a 
quarter of a mile. Again, the rows in the different alignments run in 
different directions — Menec N. 70° E., Kermario N. 57° E., and Ker- 
lescan S. 85° E. In each alignment the rows begin with enormous 
stones at the west end and gradually taper down to merely good-sized 
rocks at the easterly ends. Then Menec and Kerlescan begin at the 



128 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Fig. 3. Panorama op the Alignment of Menec, near Carnac, from the westerly 
end. The cromlech Is Just behind the position of the camera, but could not be 
Included In the view on account of a house and farm buildings. The alignment of 

western ends with a cromlech, and LeEouzic is confident that there 
was originally a cromlech at the western end of Kermario, but that it 
has disappeared. 

The alignment of M6nec may be taken as typical. It lies in an 
undulating pasture, with farm buildings here and there, and is crossed 
at about the middle by a country road. Through this field, from the 
slight elevation at the west, down through the hollow of the road, and 
disappearing over the rise at the east, stretch eleven rows of menhirs, 
the rows being approximately parallel and about thirty feet apart, and 
the whole a little over three hundred feet wide while in length they ex- 
tend 3,800 feet, or over two thirds of a mile. Some of the menhirs have 
tumbled down; here and there we note one built into the walls sepa- 
rating the fields but still occupying its original position. In all there 
are 1,099 stones still standing in Menec. At the eastern end they are 
small, rising but two or three feet above the soil, but at the western end 
are the giants, three or four feet in diameter and thirteen feet high. 

The cromlech of Menec consists of 70 stones, about five feet high on 
the average, which sweep in a semicircle around the farm buildings at 
the west end of the alignment, the chord of the curve including only 
the southern half of the lines proper. 

Only dry facts need be given concerning the other alignments we 
saw. In Kermario there are 982 menhirs in ten rows, extending over 



DRUID STONES" OF BRITTANY 129 



Kermarlo is behind the woods at the farther end of the lines. At the extreme right 
of the view is the Mont St. Michel, a sepulchral monument or galgal, entirely arti- 
ficial (see p. 134). 

an area about 320 by 3,700 feet. The largest menhir, which has fallen, 
is 21 feet in total length, while the smallest stands but a foot and a half 
above the ground. In KeTlescan the cromlech of 39 stones is quad- 
rangular in outline with rounded corners, while the alignment proper 
consists of 540 menhirs in thirteen rows in an area 2,700 feet long with 
an interruption of 600 feet where the little village of Kerlescan is 
situated. The largest of the stones is thirteen feet in height, the small- 
est only two feet above the surface of the ground. 

While dolmens and isolated menhirs occur all around Carnac; the 
most striking of them are on the next peninsula to the east, near the 
little village of Locmariaquer. Here one must leave the road and go into 
the fields to see the monuments. Suddenly a one-armed man sprang up 
beside the carriage and led the way among farm outhouses, gardens and 
across vegetable patches, to the most remarkable of all these remains, 
which continually bring up the question, How could they have been 
erected ? Largest of all is the gigantic menhir, " menhir groach," in the 
village itself, now fallen and broken into five pieces. According to Le 
"Rouzic, who has measured it carefully and who has taken the specific 
gravity of the stone, it was originally 68 feet in length and weighed 
382 tons. Le Kouzic also says that the time and cause of its fall are 
unknown, and cites a drawing of 1727 to show that at that time it was 
in its present condition. On the other hand, I have seen a little pam- 



130 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Fig. 4. Alignment op Kermario. 

phlot which states that it was struck by lightning, overthrown and 
broken in the sixteenth century. There is apparently little doubt that 
once this immense stone stood vertically, but the engineering problem 
of its erection is not easily solved. One can hardly believe, with Le 
Rouzic, that the lever and inclined plane were sufficient; yet what 
other mechanical aids could have been available? 



Fig. 5. Menhir G roach or grand menhir. Locmariaquer. 



"DRUID STONES" OF BRITTANY 131 

At Locmariaquer is also the largest of the dolmens, the " dolmen 
des marchands." I regret that I took no measurements of its size, espe- 
cially since none are given in the works at hand. I can only depend 
upon my memory, aided by pictures, for my estimates. At its southern 
end is a passage about four feet wide and high enough for a tall man to 
stand erect. This is walled by vertical slabs of stone and roofed in with 
the same material. The passage leads to a larger chamber which is at 
least seven feet wide and high by possibly ten or twelve in length. 
The end opposite the entrance is formed of a single stone, shaped like 



Fig. 6. Dolmen des Marchands, Locmariaquer. 

the smaller end of an egg and remarkable from the fact that its surface 
is covered with groups of parallel curved lines, a feature found but 
rarely in this region. Smaller stones, about six feet high, make up the 
sides of the chamber, while at the opening of the passage into the 
chamber are a pair of seven-foot stones, like door posts. The roof is 
supported on these three larger stones, like an enormous three-legged 
table. The table top is an immense block of granite, about ten feet 
wide, fifteen feet long and four feet in thickness. The problem of put- 
ting this roof in position is not so difficult as that of the erection of the 
giant menhir just described. We may imagine the ancient workers fill- 
ing all around the vertical stones of the dolmen with soil and then slid- 
ing or rolling the covering stone into position. But even this calls for 
an expenditure of an enormous amount of human strength. 

Near this " table of the merchants " is another dolmen, " man 6 
ritual/' less perfect and less easily studied than its fellow, since it has 



i 3 2 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

not been excavated. Its covering stone, however, is larger, or was before 
one end was broken off. Judging from the size of a man in a picture 
which I bought it was forty feet in length, eight in breadth and two 
or three in thickness. 

Some of the other dolmens in the vicinity are nearly as large as 
these, and some vary by having lateral chambers given off, either from 
the main chamber or from the passage. None, however, are their 
equals in the size of the roofing stones, but in most instances the roof 
is formed of several stones. I recall measuring one roughly as it lay 
across the dolmen at Locmaiiaquer — as between eleven and twelve feet 
in length. 

The rock of which these monuments are formed is the common 
granite of the region. The blocks were probably weathered out from 
the underlying bed rock by the elements and needed no quarrying on 
the part of the unknown engineers. 

Speculations as to the time at which these monuments were erected, 
the people who put them in position and the purposes for which they 
were intended are numerous in the literature of the subject, some of 
them as fantastic and absurd as those which ascribe the antiquities of 



Vic.. 7. Diilmen ok Max£ KfiTUAi., Locmariaquer, foreshortened so as to include 
all of tbe roofing stones. 

Yucatan to the followers of St. Thomas of apostolic times. Usually 
they are attributed to that mysterious people, the " Druids," whoever 
they may have been. Certain it is that they long antedated the con- 
quest of Gaul by the Romans, while the relics found in connection with 
some of them would seem to indicate that they may date back to the 
second stone age, the neolithic period of the archeologist. 



"DRUID STONES" OF BRITTANY 133 

Human interments often occurred at the isolated menhirs and asso- 
ciated with these are found only simple pottery and instruments formed 
solely of stone and bone. Not a trace of bronze or iron, except where 
it was clearly of a later and intrusive character. Arrow and spear 
points, ceremonial stones, etc., closely resembling those of our American 
Indians, would point far back in the history of western Europe. Yet 
this is not conclusive, for these objects occur only in connection with 
human interments and one must make allowance for the well-known 
conservatism of the priestly class. Among other peoples the objects 
buried with the dead retained the primitive character long after the race 
kad developed other forms in its daily life. So it may have been here. 
The fact that these burials were accompanied only by objects of the 
stone age is not conclusive proof that the people were ignorant of bronze 
or even of iron. 

It is an interesting fact that the passages leading to the chambers 
of the dolmens are invariably so placed that the openings lie between 
the points of the rising and the setting of the sun at the summer solstice, 
possibly indicating that the builders were to a certain extent sun wor- 
shippers. From certain considerations of orientation the English 
astronomer, Lockyer, has figured out the date of the building of Stone- 
henge as about 1680 B.C., with a limit of probable error of two centuries 
either way. If his arguments be valid, there is a probability that the 
monuments of Carnac and Locmariaquer are at least as old. 

With such a throwing back of the age of these monuments there is 
more and more uncertainty as to who built them. The " Druids/' who 
just appear on the pages of written history, were Keltish, but what 
evidence have we that Kelts dwelt in Brittany or Great Britain a thou- 
sand or fifteen hundred years before Christ ? We know that other races 
dwelt in these regions before the immigrant Kelt. Did the Kelt erect 
these stones or did he find them where they still stand when he came? 
and did he simply adapt his religious rites to them? Who can say? 

We are on a little more certain ground when we come to the pur- 
poses of the standing stones, or at least of some of them. As implied 
above, the isolated menhirs, usually placed on some spot a little above 
the surrounding country, have, in many cases, been found to stand near 
some burial, and hence it is probable that they are funeral monuments. 
Some may also have been boundary stones. The dolmens are also mor- 
tuary in character. Apparently every dolmen and all6e couverte was 
formerly buried with earth or rocks, the whole forming a large mound 
— a tumulus or galgal. With the ages the earth in many cases has been 
removed, either by man or by the elements, leaving the strange " tables " 
as we see them. In other cases the tumulus still persists and many of 
these have been explored by modern archeologists, all revealing, in the 
interior, either a dolmen, an al!6e couverte, or smaller cairns of stones, 



i34 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Fig. 8. Dolmen of Keryeresse, Locmariaqcer. 

each with human bones, frequently mingled with those of the horse 
and cow. 

The way in which one tumulus near Carnac has been explored is 
interesting. This forms a large mound, over 260 feet long, oval in out- 
line, rising fifty or sixty feet above the surrounding plain, and locally 
known as Mont St. Michel. On one end of the level summit is a small 
chapel of St. Michel while on the space in front is an interesting cross 
of fifteenth century workmanship. As open cuttings would have been 
expensive (and even impossible in the neighborhood of the chapel), the 
tumulus has been explored by driving small tunnels through it in every 
direction. These have later been walled up and roofed in with stone, 
so that, by the aid of a candle, one may visit all the points of interest 
in the interior, just as one -would explore one of our Indiana or Ken- 
tucky caves, seeing all the features found — in this case two dolmens and 
numerous cairns — as nearly as possible in their original condition. 

It would be a tedious task to enumerate, even by name, all of the 
objects found in these explorations, which were begun in 1862 by the 
Societe Polymathique of Vannes, continued, for the fifteen years ending 
with his death in 1881, by the Scotchman, James Miln, and since that 
time by Le Kouzic. The material collected by Miln forms a small but 
very important museum which he bequeathed to the Commune of 
Carnac, and which must be visited in order to have a full knowledge of 
these strange megaliths. Le Rouzic, the present curator, is enthusi- 
astic in his field, gladly welcoming the student, and spending much 
time in explaining his treasures. 

In the first place these plainly show that, whether the orientation 



"DRUID STONES" OF BRITTANY 135 

of the dolmens has any significance or not, the tumuli were mortuary in 
character. Sometimes the body was buried while still in the flesh; in 
other instances cremation had occurred. At times there were isolated 
interments ; at others the bones are found in large numbers, as if there 
were collective burials. Along with the human bones occur those of 
the horse and cow, while burnt clay vases, necklaces of pierced stones 
and stone implements — celts, arrow and spear points, etc. — accompany 
the remains. Some of the vessels were apparently new, while others 
show signs of culinary use. Many of the stone implements have a per- 
fection of surface and edge that would imply that they were never used 
but were merely votive offerings, ceremonial in character. It is inter- 
esting to note that even to this day the peasants of Morbihan prize the 
arrow and spear points as talismans and call them " men-garun " — 
thunder stones. 

But what are the alignments ? Here we are in the region of specu- 
lation — pure guessing. One may pass by with mere mention the view 
that they, with the cromlech at the end, are gigantic phallic symbols. 
Le Bouzic thinks them funereal without being sepulchral in character. 
He thinks that they might have been connected with the religious rites. 
The spaces between the rows would afford passages for the faithful 
assembled for the celebration of the ceremonies, possibly in connection 
with the collective burials in the tumuli, while the cromlech was the 
place set apart for the priests. 

Whether we can ever arrive at an exact interpretation of these 
monuments or not, whether we ever know when or by whom they were 
erected, whether we solve the problems involved in the handling of these 
immense stones; these thousands of rocks — originally 15,000 or 20,000 
in number — scattered over the plains of Morbihan will form one of the 
most striking of the monuments of antiquity. Possibly we shall get 
nothing better or more definite, certainly nothing more poetical, than 
the medieval legend of Saint Comply which I paraphrase from the 
version given by Le Eouzic. 

Saint Corn61y was Pope of Eome, from which place he was driven 
by the pagan soldiers, who pursued him as he fled before them, accom- 
panied by two cows which bore his baggage and belongings when he was 
tired. One evening he arrived at the village of Moustoir (two miles 
north of Carnac). Here he fain would have stopped, but hearing a 
young girl there abusing her mother, he could not stay. So he went on 
until he came to a little hill (Mont St. Michel) where he had a view 
in all directions. In front was was the sea, behind the soldiers in 
martial array. Further flight was impossible. What could he do? 
He stretched forth his hand and immediately the soldiers, rank and file 
as they stood, were changed to stone. Hence it is that one sees the 
long lines of standing stones to the north of the village of Carnac, and 



136 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

hence it is that the village church is dedicated to St. Comply. Pil- 
grims of all countries flocked to Carnac to invoke the aid of the saint 
for their ailing beasts, and he, mindful of the aid his cows had given 
him in his flight, granted their requests. To this day ghosts may be 
seen at night wandering among the lines of stones, the " soldiers of 
St. Comely," while the image of the saint and his cows are carved on 
the front of the church. The query at once arises, have we here a sur- 
vival from the old worship of Mithras ? 



THE ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 



i37 



THE OBIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM AND ITS 
APPROPRIATION OF EFFECTORS 

II. Receptor-effector Systems 



By G. H. PARKER 

PBOFBSSOB OF ZOOLOGY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY 

THE second step in the development of the neuromuscular mech- 
anism is represented by the receptor-effector system, a condition 
fairly realized in such ccelenterates as the sea-anemones and the jelly- 
fishes and probably recurring in the digestive tubes of the higher meta- 
zoans. As an introductory example we may turn to the sea-anemones. 
Most sea-anemones (Fig. 



p 



1) are cylindrical animals 
attached to some firm object 
by their aboral disks and 
carrying on their oral disks 
a ring of tentacles surround- 
ing the mouth. This aper- 
ture leads inward through 
a short gullet to a large, 
somewhat divided, diges- 
tive cavity, the gastro-vas- 
cular space, which extends 
throughout the whole in- 
terior of the animal even 
to the tips of its tentacles 
and is the only cavity with- 
in the sea-anemone. The 
body of the animal is made 
up of walls of extreme thin- 
ness; these walls consist of 
two layers of cells, an outer 
one next the sea water, the ectoderm, and an inner one next the gastro- 
vascular space, the entoderm. These two layers are separated by a 
tough, non-cellular sheet, the supporting lamella. 

Unlike sponges, sea-anemones are very responsive to changes in 
their environment. If a fully expanded Metridium is disturbed by 
mechanical agitation, it will quickly retract its oral disk, discharge 
through its mouth the water contained in its gastrovascular cavity, and 

vol. lxxv.— 10. 




Fig. 1. Longitudinal, Section of a Sua- 
akemonb (Metridium) ; g, gullet ; gv$, gastro- 
vascular space; m, mouth; t, tentacles. 



138 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

finally cover its tentacles and month by puckering in the oral edge of 
its column. In this contracted state it may remain hours at a time, 
and when it eventually expands it does so by relaxing its muscles and 
refilling its body with sea water. A beam of strong sunlight, if thrown 
upon an expanded Metridium several feet under water, will usually call 
forth the same contraction as mechanical stimulation does. 

When the exterior of a Metridium is tested locally, its receptiveness 
for certain stimuli is found to be quite diverse. The animal makes no 
^ movements when dissolved food-substances are cau- 

tiously discharged upon the external surface of its 
column, though this very area is sensitive to mechan- 
ical stimulation. Precisely the reverse is true of the 



•J» r HI 



It 



5.1 ) !j| e lips; these organs are easily stimulated by dissolved 

]1 j||f food-products, but no reaction occurs even when they 

\*\%\\ are punctured by a needle. Both mechanical and 

Mi I 1 ]' chemical stimulation, however, are effective on the 

?,?i;^ J A tentacles and vigorous responses can be called forth 

•: : vf s ?• fr° m even distant parts of the body by the application 

;6 : -^^?. n of either of these forms of stimuli to the tentacles. 

J -M: f il rn Since these reactions, as just intimated, often involve 
^jf^S/^ responses in very different parts of the animal from 

those to which the stimulus is applied, it follows that 
fig. 2. ectodmm we are dealing with a process justly regarded as nerv- 
taclb or a sea- ous > * or transmission in this case is not accompanied 
anemonb (Metri- with any observable motion. The surface of a sea- 

dium) ; e, epithelial , , , . , , . , 

layer ; m, muscular anemone may then be pictured as a true receptor sur- 
layer ; %, nervous face partly differentiated in different regions for par- 
lameiia*' 8nPP ° * ticular classes of stimuli, but not so far specialized 
that it can be described as made up of sense organs. 
An examination of the structure of the ectoderm (Fig. 2) will do 
much to make clear the mechanism by which the reactions of sea-ane- 
mones are carried out. The ectoderm of these animals is a modified 
epithelium in which three definite layers can be distinguished. The 
outermost of these forms more than half the thickness of the total layer 
and is a true columnar epithelium. It contains, in addition to ordi- 
nary epithelial cells, gland-cells and nettle-cells, and, what is of more 
importance to us, sense-cells. These sense-cells are long, narrow bodies 
whose distal ends are armed with a sensory bristle which, under ordinary 
conditions, projects into the surrounding sea water and whose proximal 
ends run out into finely branfihed, nervous processes which intermingle 
with similar processes from other cells. The complex made by the 
interweaving of immense numbers of these processes constitutes the 
second layer of the ectoderm, the nervous layer, and this layer often 
contains in addition to the large amount of fibrillar material derived 



THE ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 139 

from the sense-cells, numerous multipolar ganglion-cells whose processes 
add to the fibrillar material already mentioned. A careful study of this 
fibrillar material has recently been made with the result that a true 
nervous network has been demonstrated in hydroids (Wolff, 1904; 
Hadzi, 1909), siphonophores (Schaeppi, 1904) and sea-anemones 
(Wolff, 1904; Groselj, 1909). In the sea-anemones in particular this 
network appears to be a perfectly continuous and diffuse one, notwith- 
standing Havetfs previous declaration (1901) to the contrary. The 
third layer is composed of parallel muscle-fibers that rest against the 
supporting lamella on one side and are in contact with the nervous net- 
work on the other side. The muscle-cells of this layer are much elon- 
gated, spindle-shaped cells. These three layers, the epithelial layer, the 
nervous layer and the muscular layer, constitute the structural elements 
in the ectodermic neuromuscular mechanism of a sea-anemone. 

The nervous type of ectoderm just described covers practically the 
whole surface of a sea-anemone and has been designated as a diffuse 
nervous system in contrast to a centralized one. The fact that the 
nervous layer is more fully developed on the oral disk than elsewhere 
has given anatomical grounds for the assumption that this portion is a 
central nervous organ, but, as will be shown later, the physiological 
evidence in favor of this opinion is so slight that the designation of the 
nervous system as a diffuse one is more consistent with facts. 

From the standpoint of our original analysis, it is quite plain that 
in the sea-anemones we are dealing with at least two elements of the 
typical neuromuscular mechanism, namely, receptors as represented by 
the sense-cells, and effectors as seen in the muscle-fibers. Whether the 
fibrillar material that intervenes between these two structures represents 
an adjustor or central apparatus will be discussed after the action of 
this nervous mechanism has been more fully described. 

The feeding habits of the sea-anemones throw considerable light on 
the physiology of their nervous structures. If particles of meat are 
dropped on the tentacles of an expanded Metridium, they become en- 
tangled in the mucus on these organs and are quickly delivered to the 
mouth, where they are swallowed. If fragments of clean filter-paper 
soaked in sea water are similarly dropped on the tentacles, they are 
usually discharged from the edge of the oral disk without having been 
brought to the mouth. Thus the animal appears to discriminate be- 
tween what is good for food and what is not. If, however, pieces of 
filter-paper soaked with meat juice are put on the tentacles, they are 
usually swallowed as though the sea-anemone had been deceived. On 
the basis of these simple experiments a still more striking combination 
can be devised. If a sea-anemone is provided alternately with pieces 
of meat and pieces of filter-paper soaked in meat juice it will in the 
beginning swallow in sequence both materials, but after ten or a dozen 



140 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

trials it will regularly swallow the meat but usually discard the filter- 
paper. Thus it would appear that the sea-anemone had detected the 
deception practised on it in the beginning and had learned to circum- 
vent the experimenter. But further observations show how erroneous 
this interpretation is. If the experiment just described is performed 
on a limited group of tentacles on one side of the oral disk and, after 
the animal has arrived at the stage of discriminating between meat and 
paper, the experiment is repeated on another and distant group of ten- 
tacles, it is found that these tentacles and the part of the mouth next 
them will accept both meat and paper as the first group did and the 
same process as was used on this group must be repeated on the second 
group in order to bring it to the stage of discrimination. Thus it is 
clear that, however we may regard these acts, Metridium shows no 
marked power of making the experience of one part of its body serve 
another; in other words, it shows no decided evidence of a central 
nervous organ. 

This conclusion is in substantial accord with the recent results 
obtained by Fleure and Walton (1907) from experiments on Actinia 
except that they believe that the repeated trials on the tentacles of one 
side of the circle had in this form a slight influence on those of the 
other. This influence, however, was so slight that they declared that 
experience of this kind certainly did not become the possession of the 
animal as a whole. 

Not only is there in these reactions absence of any strong evidence 
in favor of well-marked central nervous functions in anemones, but it 
is very doubtful if we are justified in regarding the local reaction just 
described as a true discrimination. Jennings (1905) has suggested 
that sea-anemones possess sensations of hunger and that as the experi- 
ment proceeds the animal's hunger diminishes and it finally discards 
when less hungry what it at first accepted. But Allabach (1905) has 
shown that the same so-called discrimination is arrived at if the sea- 
anemone is not allowed to swallow anything, but is robbed of meat and 
paper alike by having these materials picked out of its gullet just as 
they are about to be swallowed. In fact it seems quite clear that this 
process of apparent discrimination is in no sense due to centralized 
nervous functions, but is merely the result of exhaustion. At the 
beginning of each experiment the receptors are stimulated by the strong 
juices of the meat and the weaker juice of the paper. As they run 
down in efficiency, they come to a stage where they no longer react to 
the weaker stimulus of the paper and respond only to the meat. At 
this stage apparent discrimination takes place. 

Not only do these experiments show no evidence of central nervous 
functions, but they indicate a decided looseness of nervous articulation. 
The activity of one side of the body of the sea-anemone has very little, 



THE ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 



141 



if any, influence on the other side. Moreover, the fact of intimate local 
relations between nerve and muscle, as seen in the anatomy of these 
animals, supports the idea of neuromuscular independence instead of 
centralized relations. This is well exemplified in the reactions of the 
tentacles. If a tentacle of Metridium is stimulated by food, it turns 
and twists irregularly and then points toward the mouth. If the same 
tentacle is cut off and held filled with water so that its original relations 
in the animal as a whole can be kept in mind, it will be found to react to 
food as it formerly did, in that it will finally turn toward that side which 
was originally next the mouth. 
Hence we may conclude that 
the tentacle has within itself 
all that is necessary by way of 
neuromuscular mechanism for 
its characteristic reactions and 
is not dependent for these on 
such other parts of the sea-ane- 
mone as have been regarded as 
central nervous organs. Phys- 
iologically as well as anatomic- 
ally the sea-anemone seems to 
possess a diffuse rather than a 
centralized nervous system, and 
its neuromuscular mechanism 
consists of receptors and effect- 
ors connected by a nervous net 
which is composed partly of the 
nervous processes of the receptor 
jells and partly of similar proc- 
esses from ganglion cells. 

The type of neuromuscular 
mechanism found in the sea-ane- 
mones probably also recurs in 
the digestive tube of vertebrates. 
This view is supported not only 
by the action of the intestine, 
but also by its structure (Fig. p IQ . 3. longitudinal Section of the in- 
3). Omitting for the moment ™*"wal wall of a vertebrate, showing the 

,/ . ■• j ,1 nervous and muscular constituents; ap, Auer- 

the Outer Serous layer and the bach's plexus ; cm, circular muscles ; Im, longl- 
inner muCOUS layer of the inte8- tudInal muscles ; ro, mucous layer ; mp, Melss- 

tine, both of which have little or 

nothing directly to do with its neuromuscular mechanism, there are left 
the outer or longitudinal muscular layer, followed internally by a 
nervous layer, Auerbach's plexus, which in turn is followed by the cir- 




cm 




P 
Im 



142 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

cular muscles on which rests a second nervous layer, Meissner's plexus. 
Each plexus, so far as is known, is a true nervous net as intimately 
related to the adjacent muscle fibers as is the case of the sea-anemones. 
In fact one of the muscle layers and the adjacent plexus in the intestine 
reproduce very accurately all the essentials of the neuromuscular mech- 
anism of a sea-anemone except the epithelial sense-cells. 

Not only is there this anatomical similarity between the neuro- 
muscular mechanisms of the sea-anemone and of the vertebrate intes- 
tine, but there is also a physiological similarity as seen in the movements 
of the digestive tube. The essentials of these movements are well 
exemplified in the small intestine. In this part of the digestive tube 
the characteristic movements are segmentation and peristalsis. Seg- 
mentation consists in a series of temporary, ring-like constrictions in 
the intestinal wall that come and go in such a way that the enlarged 
region of the tube between any two constrictions is the site of the 
constriction next to appear, and so on. As a result of segmentation, the 
food is most thoroughly churned and mixed. Peristalsis is a wave-like 
movement whereby the food is carried posteriorly through the intestine. 
Usually these two movements go on together in such a way that the 
peristalsis is combined with segmentation in that the latter becomes 
somewhat unsymmetrical and cuts each food mass into two unequal 
parts the larger of which is on the posterior side of the constriction. 
Hence the food is not only churned but is at the same time moved pos- 
teriorly through the intestine. 

The small intestine receives nerve-fibers from two extraneous 
sources, the vagus and the splanchnic nerves, and it might be supposed 
that these were essential for the movements of the intestine. But as 
Cannon (1906) has demonstrated, both sets of nerves may be cut, and 
yet after recovery from the immediate effects of the operation seg- 
mentation and peristalsis will be found to go on in the digestive tube 
in an essentially natural manner. It is thus clear that the vertebrate 
intestine, like the tentacle of a sea-anemone, contains a complete neuro- 
muscular mechanism within its own wall, and though there is no histo- 
logical evidence of the presence of receptors reaching from the mucous 
surfaces of the intestine to the nervous nets within, yet there are sound 
physiological grounds for assuming the presence of such organs. In 
that case the type of neuromuscular mechanism in the intestine would 
be practically identical with that in the sea-anemone. 

A second example of a receptor-effector system in ccelenterates is 
seen in the jellyfishes. In these animals as contrasted with the sea- 
anemones, locomotion is a well-developed activity, and it is the neuro- 
muscular mechanism concerned with this function that must be con- 
sidered. The structures involved in locomotion are well exemplified 
in Aurelia (Fig. 4). This common jellyfish possesses on the edge of 



THE ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 



i43 




Fig. 4. 



its bell eight clusters of sense-organs. Each cluster contains an ocellus, 
two sensory pits that are probably concerned with the chemical sense, 
and a sense-club which may be a pressure organ. The sensory portions 
of all these organs are modified ectoderm and from these portions nerve- 
fibers pass out as radiating bundles to the ectoderm of the subumbrellar 
surface. Here they merge into a nervous net which overlies the ecto- 
dermic musculature as in the 
sea-anemones. This muscula- 
ture forms a circular sheet con- 
centrically disposed with refer- 
ence to the symmetry of the 
jellyfish. When the bell of an 
Aurelia is pulsing, the move- 
ment is carried out by the more 
or less general contraction of 
this circular band of muscle, 
which is brought back to its 
original position on relaxation 
by the elasticity of the gelat- 
inous mass of the bell. The 
locomotor muscle, then, is a 
gigantic sphincter that works 
against an elastic resistance. 

The significance of the various parts of the neuromuscular mechan- 
ism in such an animal as Aurelia can be determined by experiment. If 
the eight sense-bodies are removed, the animal will no longer pulse 
spontaneously, though its muscles may be made to contract by direct 
stimulation. If all but one sense-body are removed, the bell will pulse 
with regularity and by artificially stimulating the single remaining body 
a wave of muscular contraction can be sent over it. It is therefore 
evident that the sense-bodies act like extremely delicate triggers and 
thus touch off the contractile mechanism. In this respect, then, the 
jellyfish is more highly developed than the sea-anemone, for the latter 
possesses no such specialized and delicate receptors. 

The wave of contraction that passes over a bell when one of its 
sense-bodies is stimulated, may be either a purely muscular phenomenon 
or may be the result of nervous transmission through the nervous net 
whereby one region after another of the musculature is brought into 
action. The fact that this wave is not checked when the bell is cut 
even in a most irregular way provided the subumbrellar epithelium is 
still continuous, favors the nervous rather than the muscular interpreta- 
tion. But stronger evidence on the nervous side than this has come 
from an entirely different direction. Mayer (1906) has shown that the 
subumbrellar epithelium of Cassiopea after removal will readily regen- 



Aurelia, subumbrellar surface; 0, clus- 
ter of sense-organs. 



144 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



ij 



Fig. 5. Neuromuscu- 
lar Cell (black) In 
place In a columnar 
epithelium. 



erate, and that in regeneration the nervous net forms earlier than the 
muscles. By taking jellyfishes at the appropriate stage in regeneration, 
it was found that a stimulus applied to one side of a regenerated area 
was followed by a muscular response on the other side of this area with- 
out any observable movement in the area itself. Hence transmission 
through the regenerated region must have been by nervous means, 
doubtless by the nervous net. 

In jellyfishes the nervous net will transmit apparently in any direc- 
tion and in this respect it is in strong contrast with the central nervous 
organs of the higher metazoans, where, especially 
in the vertebrates, a polarized condition generally 
prevails. Thus in the spinal nerves of vertebrates, 
it is easy to send impulses through from a dorsal 
root to a ventral one, but impossible to send them 
in the reverse direction. Apparently the cord 
contains some structure on its path of conduction 
that is valve-like and allows impulses to pass in one direction only. 
Such a condition does not exist in the nervous net of the jellyfishes. 

The neuromuscular organs of the ccelenterates have been considered 
by so many investigators as the most 
primitive in the animal, kingdom that 
it is not inappropriate to consider at 
this place the relations of some of the 
older views on this subject to those 
expressed in these articles. 

The discovery by Kleinenberg 
(1872) of the so-called neuromuscular 
cells (Fig. 5) in Hydra led this investi- 
gator to the belief that these cells rep- 
resented a complete neuromuscular ap- 
paratus in that each cell-body could be 
regarded as a receptor and its fibrous 



1 


ioMoo 


z 
00 1000 


3 

,o ifr! 



I 




Fig. 0. Differentiation of Nbu- 
r0mu8culab c0n8titubnt8 from an 
Indifferent Epithelium. The up- 
per figure represents an indifferent 
condition containing three cells which 

,. im . -o i_t_ j subsequently (lower figure) differ- 

portion as an effector. J3y growth and entiate into a sense-cell (1), a gan- 
cell division, according to Kleinenberg, tfion-ceii (2), and an epithelial 
separate receptors and effectors would 
be differentiated simultaneously from such single cells. 

The simultaneous differentiation of nervous and muscular elements 
(Fig. 6) was also accepted by the brothers Hertwig (1878), but in 
their opinion the two types of tissue did not arise from a common cell 
as claimed by Kleinenberg, but from separate cells which became simul- 
taneously differentiated, some to form nerve-cells (sense- and ganglion- 
cells) and others to form muscle-cells. This view has come to be com- 
monly accepted by the majority of investigators. 

The independent origin of the nervous system and its secondary 



THE ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 145 

connection with the musculature has been advocated by Claus (1878) 
and by Chun (1880), but a nervous system without effectors is, as 
Samassa (1892) and Schaeppi (1904) declare, scarcely conceivable. 

The opinion about the origin of nervous and muscular tissues as 
expressed in these articles is opposed to the various theories stated in 
the preceding paragraphs in that muscular tissue is regarded as the 
ancestral tissue and nervous tissue is supposed to have formed sec- 
ondarily and as a means of bringing muscular tissue into action with 
greater certainty than direct stimulation would do. According to this 
view the primitive state of the neuromuscular mechanism is to be seen 
in such animals as sponges, which possess muscles but no true nervous 
organs; and the neuromuscular or, better, epithelial-muscular cells of 
the coelenterates represent these primitive effectors to which have been 
added a diffuse system of receptors as seen in the sea-anemones or a 
specialized system as in the jellyfishes. In both instances the receptors 
and effectors are related through a nervous net. 

References 
Allabach, L. F. 

1905. Some Points regarding the Behavior of Metridium. Biol. Bull., vol. 
10, pp. 35-43. 

Cannon, W. B. 

1906. The Motor Activities of the Stomach and Small Intestine after 
Splanchnic and Vagus Section. Amer. Journ. Physiol., vol. 17, pp. 
429-442. 

Chun, C. 

1880. Die Ctenophoren des Golfes von Neapel. Fauna und Flora des Golfes 
von Neapel, Monogr. 1, xviii + 313 pp., 18 Taf. 
Claus, C. 

1878. Studien liber Polvpen und Quallen der Adria. Denkschr. Akad. 
Wissensch., Wien, Bd. 38, pp. 1-64, Taf. 1-11. 
Fleube, H. J., and C. L. Walton. 

1907. Notes on the Habits of some Sea Anemones. Zool. Anz., vol. 31, 
pp. 212-220. 

Gboselj, P. 

1909. Untersuchungen tlber das Nervensystem der Aktinien. Arbeit. Zool. 
Inst., Wien, Tom. 17, pp. 269-308, Taf. 1. 
Hadzi, J. 

1909. Ueber das Nervensystem von Hydra. Arbeit. Zool. Inst., Wien, Tom. 
17, pp. 225-268, Taf. 1-2. 
Havet, J. 

1901. Contribution a Petude du Systeme nerveux des Actinies. La Cellule, 
tome 18, pp. 385-419, pis. 1-6. 
Hebtwig, 0., und R. Hebtwig. 

1878. Das Nervensystem und die Sinnesorgane der Medusen. Leipzig, 4o, 
x + 186 pp., 10 Taf. 
Jennings, H. S. 

1905. Modifiability in Behavior. I. Behavior of Sea Anemones. Journ. 
Exp. Zool., vol. 2, pp. 447-472. 



146 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Kleinenberg, N. 

1872. Hydra. Eine anatonusch-entwicklungsgeschichtliche Untersuchung. 
Leipzig, 4o, vi + 90 pp., 4 Taf. 
Mater, A. G. 

1906. Rhythmical Pulsations in Scyphomedusae. Publ. Carnegie Inst., 
Washington, no. 47, 62 pp. 
Parker, G. H. 

1896. The Reactions of Metridium to Food and other Substances. Bull. 
Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. 29, pp. 107-119. 
Saicassa, P. 

1892. Zur Histologic der Ctenophoren. Arch. mik. Anat., Bd. 40, pp. 167- 
243, Taf. 8-12. 
Sohaeppi, T. 

1904. Ueber den Zusammenhang von Muskel und Nerv bei den Siphono- 
phoren. Mitth. Naturwiss. Ges. Winterthur, Jahrg. 1903-04, pp. 
' 140-167. 
Sherrington, C. S. 

1906. The Integrative Action of the Nervous System. New York, 8vo, 
xvi + 411 pp. 
Wouf, M. 

1904. Das Nervensystem der polypoiden Hydrozoa und Scyphozoa. Zeitschr. 
allg. Physiol., Bd. 3, pp. 191-281, Taf. 5-9. 



VARIATIONAL FACTOR IN HANDWRITING 147 



THE VARIATIONAL FACTOR IN HANDWRITING 

By JUNE B. DOWNEY 

UNIYIBSITY OF WYOMING 

HANDWRITING, bearing as it does the cachet of individuality, 
has always interested those to whom things human make their 
intimate appeal. Curious observations relative to it have long been 
current, the existence, for instance, of national as well as family and 
personal chirographics ; the perversions of it that take form as mirror- 
writing or even — it is said — as inverted writing; the whimsy shown 
by the bizarre characters, by the tendency to irrelevant and extravagant 
flourishes in the writing of those suffering from certain forms of 
mental disorder. Attention has been called to the similarity existing 
between a man's handwriting and the manner in which he walks or 
gesticulates. It has been claimed that age and sex and profession leave 
their impress upon writing, that the pencraft of the painter mirrors 
minutely the grace and distinction that marks the sweep of his brush 
across the canvas. Carried out boldly such speculations venture even 
the claim that the handwriting of any individual would be found to 
resemble the characteristic tracings shown by his pulse and respiration 
and fatigue curves. Nor is the interest in the variational aspect of 
handwriting restricted to recording the diversities in penmanship from 
individual to individual; it is also engaged in noting variations from 
day to day in the handwriting of any given person under the influence 
of fatigue or emotion or disease. But, however numerous, such observa- 
tions and however legitimate the speculations they engender, it remains 
for the physiologist and the psychologist, with the aid perhaps of the 
sociologist, to compass the scientific study of the variational factor in 
handwriting. 

The ground, however, has been broken. As has frequently been the 
case in the history of research, the claims of a pseudo-science, at once 
provocative and suggestive, have stimulated inquiry. In this case, 
graphology, the art that would find in handwriting revelations of 
intelligence and character, has been the direct cause of a series of 
investigations. On the other hand, modern psychological theory with 
its increasing emphasis upon behavior, upon the motor aspects of life, 
could not long ignore the opportunity for study presented by this most 
complicated and subtle act of individual expression. 

Two lines of investigation have accordingly been inaugurated by the 



148 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

psychologist; the one interested in the functional significance of the 
act of writing as the expression of individuality; the other interested 
in a minute analysis of this motor series, seeking to determine the 
laws of expression that govern this particular act. In both investiga- 
tions methods of research are being worked out with the ingenuity so 
characteristic of scientists of to-day. Each investigation as it 
progresses will be found to encroach upon the other. From the two 
will come the future science of handwriting. A r6sum6 of the work 
that has already been done has perhaps its value at the present time. 

First of all it may be profitable to consider the investigations that 
have sought to determine under scientific control whether or not the 
graphologists have made good their claims. It is to France that we 
owe, not only the most carefully wrought-out system of graphology, 
but also the most carefully thought-out control of that art. In an 
investigation covering many months, Alfred Binet, the director of the 
psychological laboratory at the Sorbonne, planned and executed a series 
of carefully controlled experiments designed to test the ability of the 
graphologists to determine from handwriting the sex, the age, the 
intelligence and the character of the writer. Binet, who guarded care- 
fully against all sources of error, so planned his experiments as to be 
able to state in figures the percentage of error in the interpretations 
of the graphologists and thus render possible a comparison of the 
graphologists' successes with those that might reasonably be expected 
if chance alone determined the outcome. The results showed unmis- 
takably that the graphologist was able to determine with but a small 
percentage of error the sex of the writer and also, but with less cer- 
tainty, the intelligence of the writer. The interpretation of age and 
character offered still greater difficulties. To render the tests perfectly 
definite and to avoid the error that might arise from the personal 
equation in estimation of intelligence and character, Binet in his tests 
upon them made use, on the one hand, of the handwriting of men 
famous in literature and science and, on the other hand, of specimens 
of the handwriting of great criminals, whose biographies were matter 
of legal record. 

Binefs investigation, apart from his general conclusions, brought 
out some interesting facts. He found, for instance, that there existed 
not only very great differences in the skill with which different 
graphologists made their interpretations, but also that there were those 
uninitiated in the art whose readings at times even the professional 
graphologist might envy. An observation akin, in a way, to the 
common experience that some people remember and recognize hand- 
writings, as others do faces, with extraordinary facility and accuracy. 
Minute differences have for them undoubtedly a value not experienced 
by others. Binet found, moreover, that the professional's skill in 



VARIATIONAL FACTOR IN HANDWRITING 149 

diagnosis far outran his ability to ground his judgment on definite 
graphic signs. His reading was the translation into words of a 
general impression, somewhat similar, we may assume, to that received 
by the skilled reader of the human countenance. Moreover, in at 
least one instance, and that in the case of a non-professional, the judg- 
ments, based on intuitions, that is, non-reasoned-out impressions, were 
achieved in a state of passivity that we are familiar with as character- 
istic of automatic activities of different sorts. 

Accepting these results, the investigation is obviously only well 
initiated, for one is next anxious to press home the question that asks 
the cause of such differences. It is not enough, for instance, to know 
that Binetfs graphologists were able under highly favorable conditions 
to distinguish in ninety per cent, of the tests the sex of the writer; 
it is not enough to know that, to a certain extent, they were able to 
base their judgments upon the presence or absence of certain graphic 
signs ; one would also know in detail what determines each sign of sex, 
whether at the last they are due, as Binet himself asks, to profound 
physiological or psychological causes, or, rather, are the outcome of the 
social environment so different in the case of the two sexes. 

We are here brought face to face with the old question that has 
confronted all investigators of sex-differences. It is evident, however, 
that the question of the social environment is, in this instance, a con- 
trolling one not merely in the discussion of the revelation of sex in 
handwriting, but also in that of the revelation of intelligence; for 
there exists a peculiar environment for talent as well as for sex. 
Indeed, it appears that the investigation of handwriting must be socio- 
psychological in nature. Unconscious imitation, social suggestibility 
doubtless play an important, if not all-important, part in determining 
writing characteristics. On the whole, therefore, it is not surprising 
that the experts were more successful in distinguishing marked differ- 
ences in intelligence than in determining the nature of the individual 
superiority. They perceived the class characteristic, as it were. 

The overlapping of the writer's environments, social and pro- 
fessional,, must farther complicate the matter. The cases cited by 
Binet of writing that gave evidence of reversion of signs : the writing, 
for instance, of a young woman scientist that the graphologists unani- 
mously judged to emanate from a man, or the handwriting of a man 
like Kenan that the graphologists marked as coming from a man of 
inferior mental ability are of particular interest in this connection. 
Such cases would probably repay a detailed investigation not only of 
the psychology of the individual, but also of his environmental history. 

It is, perhaps, because character, within certain limits, does not 
produce segregation of classes that the experts showed little accuracy 
in their judgments of moral qualities from handwriting. Their failure, 



150 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

for instance, to find in the handwriting of a young woman murderer, 
who was of some social position, evidence of more than feminine in- 
stability and coquetry is instructive; for the case was an aggravated 
one of the murder, by poisoning, of three innocent victims — husband, 
grandmother and brother — for the sake of trifling gain. 

A further control of these experiments, an attempt to diminish the 
masking effect of class-imitativeness, might be achieved by international 
work, by tests involving the discovery of similar graphic signs in the 
writing of individuals separated by race and training. A repetition of 
Binetfs test as to the possibility of distinguishing sex-differences might 
be of value in this country where sex-segregation in education is much 
less pronounced than it is in France. 

Other sociological aspects of handwriting might no doubt be in- 
vestigated. The variation in individual chirography due to the nature 
of the letter written, be it of social import or a business note; the 
change in penmanship that comes with the change of the relation of 
the writer to the one addressed — all such observations, vague as they 
are at present, merit consideration. Most suggestive of all is the shift 
in style that comes when the writer addresses his own eye alone, yield- 
ing himself to the fervor of composition or the mental dissipation of 
being "off parade." But observations under such conditions must at 
best be made stealthily. A hint at the possibility Of the intrusion of 
one's mental privacy and, conscience or vanity on the alert again, one's 
writing hastens to resume its conventional legibility. 

The revelations of the autograph as a mental photograph, a graphic 
representation of social relationships, have never been fully appreciated 
by the sociologist, although the world at large has always accepted a 
famous man's autograph as secondary in interest to his photograph 
alone. The pretense, the dignity, the reserve, the finesse with which 
one faces the world finds copy in the ostentation, the simplicity, or the 
ambiguity with which one signs one's name. Indifferent though one 
may be in penmanship in general, there is something intimate and 
personal in the autograph that arrests one's interest, so that in the 
somewhat fantastic world of images, of symbols, it often happens that 
one adopts a mental picture of his own autograph as the official repre- 
sentative of himself in the counsels of thought. 

In any case it is evident that there is a psychology as well as a 
sociology of handwriting. Tremendously complicated as the problem 
of diagnosis of individual traits from those tiny strokes of the pen 
appears, it is yet a legitimate problem of science; for the more progress 
psychology makes, the more evident it becomes that there is not a 
mode of expression which is not rooted to its finest detail in the com- 
plex psycho-physical organism. Meanwhile, it is fortunate that the 
task of identifying graphic signs should not be left wholly to the 



VARIATIONAL FACTOR IN HANDWRITING 151 

intuitions of the graphologist. Experimental work that seeks to induce 
variation in writing through a control of outer conditions must in time 
correlate certain definite variations in conditions with variation in 
such aspects of writing as size, speed, accuracy in alignment, inequality 
of control and the like. 

The experimental investigations, spoken of above, have attacked the 
problem at this point. Abandoning any attempt to deal with the more 
complicated aspects of chirography as an expression of individuality, 
they have confined themselves to an accurate analysis of such factors 
as speed of movement and its variations ; the length and significance of 
writing-pauses ; measurement of pressure and its variations ; comparison 
of the accuracy of control for right and left hand ; elimination of visual 
control; minute analysis of finger, wrist and arm movements involved 
in handwriting, with an assignment to each of its r61e. Such an 
investigation, so far as it confines itself to mere analysis, is obviously 
but a part of the general investigation of voluntary action. But the 
discovery of methods of accurately registering minute variations in 
writing speed, pressure, amplitude and musculature is necessarily pre- 
liminary to an accurate determination of the correlation between par- 
ticular psychic traits and their expression graphically. 

An illustration of what may be expected from the perfecting of the 
technique of registration of speed, pressure and amplitude of writing 
is to be found in the report of a piece of work carried out some years 
ago in a German laboratory, where it was discovered that increased dif- 
ficulty in mental work showed itself in written expression by increased 
pressure or by decrease in the size of the written characters. The 
former way of meeting the difficulty seemed to be characteristic of men; 
the latter, characteristic of women. 

Variation in the amplitude of written characters involves doubtless 
many important considerations relative to the facilitation and inhibi- 
tion of movement. Writing with attention preoccupied or distracted 
results variously in the enlargement or dwarfing of characters, an 
alternative result that seems to depend upon deep-seated tendencies 
of the individual. If, as facts apparently show, the individual who is 
the more automatic in his activities responds to distraction with an 
increase in the size of characters used; while one less automatic, one 
whose attention — though sometimes in a maimed condition — is always 
at the helm, gives evidence of the mental difficulty by a decrease in 
amplitude, a decrease that bears witness to the inhibition at work, 
then a very simple test is at hand by means of which individuals may 
be grouped under the two types that have been labeled, somewhat 
ambiguously, motor and sensory. If it should be shown further that 
this difference cuts through all the mental activities of the human 
being, progress would have been made in the difficult matter of the 
classification of mental types. 



152 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Whatever more extended observations may show, the writer of this 
paper has found it a very simple matter to pick out individuals who 
will make good subjects for muscle-reading — an experiment that suc- 
ceeds best with those whose movements are most automatic — by a 
preliminary test in which the subject, blindfolded, is required to write 
his name rapidly in sequence while counting aloud by a given interval, 
say by 13's. The writing of those individuals who would serve best 
in the proposed test shows a progressive enlargement and, moreover, 
characteristic pen-lapses. 

The question may then be raised whether such difference in mental 
type reveals itself in normal handwriting, and an affirmative answer 
seems not presumptuous, although a detailed study of handwriting 
from this standpoint has not, so far as the writer knows, been instituted 
experimentally. It should be noted, however, that in the thought 
process which accompanies writing during composition, momentary dis- 
tractions occur frequently, for thought, even in the case of rapid 
penmen, is apt to run ahead of the writing. Who does not number 
among his correspondents those whose final letters trail off into an 
indistinguishable scrawl ; and others who end with a flourish that marks 
well the motor abandon? Characteristic revelations, no doubt, 
although interpretation as yet must be exceedingly diffident. 

It is interesting to note in this connection the interpretation 
graphologists put upon the size of writing as indicative of individual 
traits. Distinction, power, frankness, honesty are held to reveal them- 
selves by magnified writing either throughout writing as a whole or 
at the termination of words. Minute writing throughout or at the 
close of words is held to indicate, in the case of superior intelligence, 
artifice or preoccupation with metaphysical or other minuti©; in the 
case of inferior minds, miserliness. Usually, the graphologists em- 
phasize legibility of terminal letters as highly indicative of frankness; 
while, on the other hand, the tendency to terminate letters in filiform 
fashion as evidence of a veiling of self. Mere exhibition of documents 
from persons of known characteristics seems, it must be said, inade- 
quate proof of such propositions. Variations from the normal in the 
handwriting of any individual would under defined conditions be of 
more value for general interpretative purposes than would variation 
from one person to another. Nor can facile analogies appear worthy 
of serious attention until the causal relation between certain tempera- 
mental traits and the facilitation or inhibition of movement is better 
understood. 

The attempt to study handwriting in the light of psychological 
analyses already in progress bids fair to help analysis, as well as to 
increase our knowledge of the psychology of handwriting. The rela- 
tion of the inner word to the outer visible one has long interested 



VARIATIONAL FACTOR IN HANDWRITING 153 

psychologists and pathologists, particularly in connection with the 
investigation of agraphia, that is, loss or impairment of the power 
to write. But the interest in such difficulties has centered largely in 
the fact that study of them might contribute to the physiological 
problem of the localization of cerebral function. If more than this, 
the interest has usually limited itself to an analysis of the situation in 
sensory terms; the details of the resulting expression have been but 
little studied. The growing interest in the psychology of lapses, both 
linguistic and graphic, and the development of a technique for such 
study is of great promise. In the case of the graphic lapse there is 
need not merely of the tabulation of what kind of errors are made, 
but also a reproduction of the writing in which the errors are found. 
Will such writing show characteristic variations in amplitude, pressure, 
and the like? 

Even apart from the question as to the effect of a " hitch " in the 
process upon the appearance of writing, we may ask whether the general 
appearance and characteristics of writing are affected by the type of 
thought-process normal for any given individual. An intensive study 
of imagery types has always recognized, although with considerable 
divergence of opinion as to details, the varieties of the word-image. 
The word mentally seen or heard, spoken or written, has been found to 
play an important part in the complex thought-processes that underlie 
the consciousness of meaning and the possibility of its expression. The 
question of significance here is how far one sort of verbal imagery is 
potent in initiating the written word of any individual and whether any 
difference in written gesture marks off the individual who habitually 
indulges himself in visual imagery from the man who is more motor 
in type or more dependent upon auditory images. 

Back even of this question lies the more deep-cutting one of the 
significance to the whole mental life of the predominance of the sensa- 
tions, perceptions and images of a ruling sense. At what point and to 
what extent in the process of learning to write does the visual-motor 
coordination fall under the ruling sense and what effect has such 
subordination upon the general appearance and character of the result- 
ing chirography? One feels certain that the handwriting of the 
man visually inclined must differ ^om that of the man preoccupied 
with motor details, but is unable to specify the difference. Yet the 
problem does not remain insoluble, for there are simple methods of 
determining the part played by each sense in control of the writing of 
any individual. Accompanying sensations such as those of sight and 
sound may be eliminated from the situation and the effect noted; or 
conflict with visual or auditory or motor images may be introduced and 
the results recorded. The investigation of the varieties of writing- 
control with the relation of each to writing-appearance offers a tempting 
field for work. But here speculation must wait upon the facts. 



i54 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

In such an investigation, however, that peculiar perversion of 
writing known as mirror-writing, because legible only when seen in a 
mirror or in transparency, may be utilized experimentally. The fact, 
on the one hand, that many left-handed children write in such a fashion 
from the first; and, on the other hand, that right-side paralytics, 
forced to the use of the left hand often resort spontaneously to such a 
form in their written communications has brought it about that the 
investigation of mirror-writing has been in the past largely turned over 
to those whose interests were either pedagogical or pathological, and 
has led to the conclusion that mirror-writing is either the normal 
writing for the left hand of all individuals or the normal writing for 
the left hand of the left-handed only. An examination of the evidence 
cited in support of these propositions or a discussion of the explanations 
that are used to ground them is not now in place. What is of interest 
is the insistence upon the need of further experimental work on in- 
duced mirror-writing with the hope of getting more light upon the 
relation here involved between the written characters and their visual 
significance. For the first question that arises is this : How can mirror- 
writing prove visually satisfactory, however "motorly" comfortable? 
And the answer to this question involves the whole problem of the 
relation of visual and motor control. It is probable that artificially 
induced mirror-writing is a simple device for determining to what 
extent the divorce between motor and visual control has resulted in 
the case of any one individual. 

But the relation of handwriting to emotional temperament, as well 
as its relation to imagery types, merits consideration. Variation in 
expression under emotional disturbance has long been a special sub- 
ject of experiment. Little attempt, however, has been made to compare 
the results so obtained with the appearance of writing under emotional 
tension. To be sure, the graphologists cite a tendency to elevate 
progressively the line of writing as an evidence of mental exaltation, of 
joy or ambition, while a fall in the alignment is indicative of the de- 
pressive emotions, self -distrust, sadness, melancholy. Again, a strongly 
marked tendency toward centrifugal or centripetal movements is held 
to indicate, on the one hand, ardor, simplicity, activity, uprightness, 
and, on the other hand, slowness, lack of spontaneity, egoism. These 
observations, if confirmed, need to be brought into definite correlation 
with the results obtained in experimental work; and in this connection 
the graphologists do appeal to the experimental interpretation of 
movements of expansion and of flexion. 

Again, the observation seems in point that variations from the 
normal in the handwriting of any individual are, under defined condi- 
tions, of more value for general interpretative purposes than is varia- 
tion from one individual to another. Some attempts to induce arti- 



VARIATIONAL FACTOR IN HANDWRITING 155 

ficially, by means of hypnotic suggestion or provisional deceit, changes 
in the mood or even in the personality of a given reagent have indeed 
been tried in France. The results, although striking and interesting 
are somewhat general in nature nor is the method beyond criticism. 

The dependence of style of writing upon suggestion has already been 
spoken of in emphasizing the role social suggestion plays in determining 
writing-types. Experimental work may investigate the influence of this 
factor. An incident in which a friend of the present writer, in signing 
the latter^ name to a lecture-ticket, unconsciously imitated the writer's 
signature shows how extensively suggestion may operate. Reports of 
the character of writing during hypnosis offer material for study. De- 
tailed reports as to the characteristic appearance of such writing are, 
however, wanting. 

Professor Janet, of the College de France, urges, and with reason, 
that experimental graphology should begin with studies in pathological 
graphology, studies on the effect upon handwriting of diseases of 
motility and sensibility, or of specific diseases, such as those of respira- 
tion and of circulation. From the more pronounced modifications of 
handwriting transitions may then be made to its more delicate in- 
flections. 

This recourse to pathology bids fair to prove increasingly fruitful. 
Physicians have long been aware of profound modifications of hand- 
writing through disease and have utilized such modifications in 
diagnosis. Considerable material has been collected and published 
by them in connection with their discussions of insanity, hysteria, 
epilepsy, paralysis and the like. Their interest has been, however, 
often practical rather than theoretical, and it is only with the increas- 
ing interest in the specific problem of handwriting that the full value 
of their documents becomes evident. Moreover, the failure to record 
in a particular instance specimens of the normal as well as of the 
perverted writing is often regrettable. Experimental work upon 
pathological writing has, however, already been resorted to in the 
attempt to determine the changes in writing induced by the use of 
alcohol and various other drugs. 

A highly interesting case of pathological writing is that known as 
automatic writing, writing of which the writer is either not conscious 
at all or else conscious only of the movement and its result without 
feeling in any way responsible for the act. In connection with such 
automatic writing one would like to have not only an analysis of the 
mental state, but also detailed information of the variation from the 
normal in terms of speed, amplitude, alignment and pressure of writing. 
It is worth noting that Professor Janet has published examples of 
mediumistic writing, and that Dr. Prince, in his recent book on " The 
Dissociation of Personality," has reproduced the handwriting of a 
secondary personality. 



156 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Much work to-day still needs to be done in the collection, according 
to well-formulated plans, of material for the study of handwriting. 
In the matter of family resemblances in chirography, for instance, there 
is scarcely any material at hand, a fact not surprising since such work 
of collection must needs run over years. An instructive series of 
family autographs would be one showing handwriting at different 
periods of development. Any resemblance here in the handwriting at 
the same period of life of individuals differing considerably in age 
would testify directly to hereditary motor tendencies of some fineness, 
since suggestibility as a contributing cause would be ruled out. 

Doubtless the day is far in the future when we shall be able to 
solve such historic enigmas as Mary, Queen of Scots, by an appeal as 
Tarde, the French sociologist, suggests, to her handwriting; or be 
proficient enough in the art of interpretation to proffer our services, as 
other enthusiasts predict, to the benevolent advocates of scientific 
match-making; but such suggestions carry with them a faith in the 
interpretation of this finest, subtlest of movements which time will 
perhaps justify. Nor will a scientific interpretation of individual 
chirography come merely to gratify an idle curiosity or a secret malice. 
It will be of immense value. All the arts remedial and educative will 
have need of it. Physician and educator, criminologist and sociologist, 
will make their appeal to it. Strange, if in time these tiny written 
gestures should be found to be all-revealing; if in them should be 
found the most intimate expression of the dramatic instinct. 



JANE LATEROP STANFORD 157 



JANE LATHROP STANFORD 
A Eulogy 1 

Bt President DAVID STARR JORDAN 

STANFORD UNIYER8ITT 

I AM to tell you to-day the story of a noble life, of one of the bravest, 
wisest, most patient, most courageous and most devout of all the 
women who have ever lived. I want to give to those of the university 
to whom its founders are but a memory some lasting picture of the 
woman who saved the university, which she and her honored husband 
founded in faith and hope, and who thus made possible the education 
you are receiving. I want to make my story as impersonal as I can, 
as though I spoke not for myself but for all of you, men and women of 
Stanford, with all gratitude towards the many who have helped in the 
great work, and with all charity towards those whose interests or whose 
conscientious convictions ranged them on the other side. If I am suc- 
cessful, you will see more clearly than ever before the lone, sad figure of 
the mother of the university, strong in her trust in God and in her 
loyalty to her husband's purposes, happy only in the belief that in 
carrying out her husband's plans for training the youth of California 
in virtue and usefulness she was acting the part to which she was as- 
signed. 

We have often said that Stanford University belongs to the Stan- 
ford students. It was the free gift of the founders, man and woman 
that were, to the students, the men and women that were to be. It is 
your university, yours and yours only, as once it was theirs. 

But we must not interpret this gift too narrowly. It is not yours, 
you students of to-day, to have or to hold in any exclusive way. The 
university belongs to all the students, those who have been here, some 
ten thousand in all, those who are here to-day, seventeen hundred more 
or less, and those who are to come. Before these we count as nothing, for 
the students to come will number for each century about a hundred 
thousand. And there are many of these centuries, for the world is still 
very young, and a university once firmly rooted is as nearly eternal as 
human civilization itself can be. The university stands for the highest 
thought and wisest action possible for man, and the need of a univer- 
sity must endure so long as man exists ; and that will be for a very long 
time. Man is bounded by the limits of space, but the race once estab- 
lished on this planet of ours, we see no limit of time, no prospect of a 

1 Founder's Day address at Stanford University, March 9, 1909. 



158 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

twilight of gods in which the darkness shall fall on the world because 
universities are no longer needed. The center of gravity of Stanford 
University, of its student body, and of its influence on civilization, is 
hundreds of years, thousands of years ahead. 

To the students of to-day, the professors of to-day, and the trustees 
of to-day, the university to-day belongs, but not as a personal posses- 
sion; only as a sacred trust. It is our first duty to see that its good 
name and its good work are kept untarnished and unimpaired. It is for 
the students to see that no custom of idleness or of dissipation, no fashion 
of cynicism or of disloyalty ever becomes hardened into a tradition at 
Stanford University. It is for the professors to strengthen them in 
this decision, and to point out the best that men have ever thought or 
done, to lead the way to gentle breeding and the enthusiasm of noble 
thought. Now, as ever, "the university must welcome every ray of 
varied genius to its hospitable halls," that their combined influences 
may "set the heart of the youth in flame." It is for the Board of 
Trustees and for the university executive to act as the balance wheel, 
guarding jealously the funds of the institution, that the generous pres- 
ent may not starve the future, and to see that no neglect or perversity of 
student or teacher shall work any permanent harm to the university 
whole. For the university must ever be infinitely greater than the sum 
of all its parts. For its largest part is never present for our measure- 
ment, and this part we can not measure is the sum of all its future in- 
fluence. 

This university was founded on love in a sense which is true of no 
other. Its corner-stone was love — love of a boy extended to the love 
of the children of humanity. It was continued through love — the love 
of a noble woman for her husband ; the faith of both in love's ideals — 
and as an embodiment of the power of love Stanford University stands 
to-day. 

It is fitting that these statements should not stand as mere words. 
I wish that in your hearts they may become realities. Not many of you 
as students have seen Mrs. Stanford. The last of the freshmen classes 
which she knew shall graduate as seniors a few weeks hence. None of 
you have known Leland Stanford, broad-minded, stout-hearted, shrewd, 
kindly, and full of hope, a man of action ripened into a philosopher. 
Our university has now reached its eighteenth year. During the first 
two years of its history, it was the hopeful experiment of Leland Stan- 
ford. The next six years its story was that of the heart throbs of Jane 
Lathrop Stanford, and the ten years following, with all their vicissi- 
tudes, have been years of calmness and certainty, for the final outcome 
is no longer open to question. 

It is my purpose this evening to tell a little of the story of the six 
dark years, the years from eighteen ninety-three to eighteen ninety- 
nine, those days in which the future of a university hung by a single 



JANE LATHROP STANFORD 159 

thread, but that thread the greatest thing in the world, the love of a 
good woman. If for an instant in all these years this good woman 
had wavered in her purposes, if for a moment she had yielded to fear or 
even to the pressure of worldly wisdom, -you and I would not have been 
here to-day. The strain, the agony, was all hers, and hers the final vic- 
tory. And so any account of these years must take the form of eulogy. 
Eulogy, in its old Greek meaning is speaking well, and my every word 
to-day must be a word of praise. It is proper, too, that I should speak 
these words, and even that I should give this history from my own 
standpoint, because there were few besides myself who knew the facts 
in those days. Most of these facts even it is well for all of us to for- 
get. For the rest, the facts in issue will appear only as needed for the 
background, before which we may see the figure of Mrs. Stanford. 

I first saw the Governor and Mrs. Stanford at Bloomington, Indi- 
ana, in March, 1891. At that time, Governor Stanford, under the 
advice of Andrew D. White, the President of Cornell, asked me to come 
to California to take charge of the new institution which he was soon 
to open. He told me the story of their son, of their buried hopes, of 
their days and nights of sorrow, and of how he had once awakened 
from a troubled night with these words on his lips : " The children of 
California shall be my children." He told me the extent of his prop- 
erty and of his purposes in its use. He hoped to build a university of 
the highest order, one which should give the best of teaching in all its 
departments, one which should be the center of invention and research, 
giving to each student the secret of success in life. No cost was to 
be spared, no pains to be avoided, in bringing this university to the 
highest possible effectiveness. 

In all this Mrs. Stanford was most deeply interested, supporting his 
purposes, guarding his strength, alert at every point, and always in the 
fullest sympathy. 

Mr. Stanford explained that thus far only buildings and land had 
been given, but that practically the whole of the common estate would 
go in time to the university, when the founders had passed away. If 
he should himself survive, the gift would be his and hers jointly, though 
the final giving would be left to him. If the wife should survive, the 
property would be hers, and in her hands would lie the final joy of 
giving. Mr. Stanford gave his reason for not turning over the prop- 
erty at once, for this might leave his wife no controlling part in the 
future. It was not his wish that she should sit idly by while others 
should create the university. So long as she lived, it was his wish that 
the building of the university should be her work. 

This attitude of chivalry in all this needs this word of explanation, 
for it shaped the whole future history of the university endowment. It 
was the source of some of the embarrassments which followed, and per- 
haps as well of the final success. 



i6o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

The university was opened on the first day of October, 1891, a clear, 
bright, golden, California day, typical of California October, and full 
of good omen, as all days in California are likely to be. There were 
on the opening day 465 students, with only 15 instructors, and the first 
duty of the president was to telegraph for more teachers, laying tribute 
on many institutions in the east and in the west. 

Two years followed, with their varied adventures, which I need not 
relate to-day. It was on the twenty-second of June, 1893, that the 
university community was startled by the sudden death of Leland 
Stanford. 

It is not my purpose now to praise the founder of the university. 
One single incident at his funeral is firmly fixed in my memory. The 
clergyman, Horatio Stebbins, in his stately fashion told a story of the 
Greeks doing honor to a dead hero ; then, turning to the pall-bearers, 
stalwart railway men, he said : " Gentle up your strength a little, for 
His a man ye bear." A man, in all high senses, in that noblest of words, 
a man ! was Leland Stanford. 

After the founder's death, the estate fell into the hands of the 
courts. The will was in probate, the debts of the estate had to be paid, 
the various ramifications of business had to be disentangled, and mean- 
while came on the fierce panic of 1893. All university matters stopped 
for the summer. Salaries could not be paid until it was found out by 
the courts by whom and to whom salaries were due. All incomes 
from business ceased. There was no such thing as income visible to 
any one, least of all to the great corporations. 

After Governor Stanford's death, Mrs. Stanford kept to her rooms 
for a week or two. She had much to plan and much to consider. 
From every point of view of worldly wisdom, it was best to close the 
university until the estate was settled and in her hands, its debts paid 
and the panic over. Her own fortune was in the estate itself. Outside 
of her jewels, she had practically nothing of her own save the com- 
munity estate, and this could not be hers until the payment of all 
debts and legacies had been completed. These debts and legacies 
amounted as a whole to eight millions of dollars. In normal times, 
there was hardly money enough in California to pay this amount; but 
these were not normal times, and there was no money in California to 
pay anything. 

After these two weeks, Mrs. Stanford called me to her house to say 
that the die was cast. She was going ahead with the university. She 
would let us have whatever money she could get. We must come down 
to bed rock on expenses, but with the help of the Lord and the memory 
of her husband, the university would go ahead and fulfil its mission. 

It was no easy task to do this, as one incident will show. There 
could be no regularity in the payment of salaries. In the eyes of the 
law the university professors were Mrs. Stanford's personal servants. 



JANE LATHROP STANFORD 161 

As such, it was finally arranged that they receive a special allowance 
from the estate. This allowance as household servants paid their sal- 
aries, and a registration tax of twenty dollars per year on each student 
had to cover all other expenses. But these two sources of income did 
not come at once, and the great farms run as experiment stations were 
centers of loss and not of income. 

A single incident will make this condition vivid. 

At one time in August, 1893, Mrs. Stanford received from Judge 
Coffey's court the sum of $500 to be paid to her household servants. 
It was paid in a bag of twenty-five twenty dollar gold pieces. Mrs. 
Stanford called me in and said her household servants could wait; 
there might be some professors in need, and I might divide the money 
among them. I put the money under my pillow, and did not sleep 
that night. Money was no common thing with us then. Next morn- 
ing, on Sunday, I set out to give ten professors fifty dollars apiece. I 
found not one who could give change for a twenty dollar gold piece, and 
so I made it forty dollars and sixty dollars. 

The same afternoon after I had gone the rounds $13,000 was brought 
down from the city for us other household servants. This sum was dis- 
tributed, and then Mrs. Stanford sent word that as we had some money 
now perhaps we could spare her the $500. I drew a check for the sum 
against a long-vanished bank account, and covered the amount in the 
morning with the aid of some of my associates. 

This incident again will explain why for six years the professors 
were paid by personal checks of the president, and why these were not 
always issued regularly, nor for the full amounts. We were all strug- 
gling together to be able to issue them at all. There was no certainty 
ahead of us. Most of the property was of such a character that it 
could not be divided, but must go in blocks of millions, if it went at all, 
and no one with millions at his disposal seemed inclined to invest it 
anywhere. The estate held a one fourth interest in the Southern Pa- 
cific System, and of all its many ramifications. Kept together, it could 
maintain itself, but if any division were made the smaller part might be 
subject to the process known as " freezing out." 

I pass by many minor incidents of struggle and economy. The 
farms had to be abruptly closed, and then to be made to yield an in- 
come. This required wise management and rigid economy at the same 
time, but for all this Mrs. Stanford proved adequate. She learned her 
lessons as she went along, and came to take a wholesome pleasure in 
the Spartan simplicity of her life. If all else failed, there were the 
jewels to fall back upon; and she steadily refused to consider the 
advice (almost unanimous) of her counsel to close the university or 
most of its departments until some more favorable time. In 1895 she 
invited the pioneer class, then graduating, to a reception in her city 
home, one reason being that it was the last class that could ever gradu- 



i6 2 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

ate. We had nothing to run on, save the precarious servant allow- 
ance, then fixed at $12,500 per month, and liable to be cut to nothing 
at any day. Our expenses for 1893 had been nearly $18,000 per 
month. Sometimes we could sell a few horses from the stock farm, but 
it was never clear that the stock farm belonged to the university and 
not to the Stanford estate, and every dollar we gained this way piled 
up the possibilities of litigation. All these days were brightened by 
the steady support of her friends and advisers, Samuel F. Leib, Timothy 
Hopkins and Russell Wilson. Mr. Hopkins furnished the Library of 
Biology and paid unasked many minor expenses, his left hand not 
taking receipts for what his right hand was doing. No one can tell 
how much the university owes to these men, who in the darkest days 
planned to make the future possible. Very much too the university 
owed to the fraternal devotion of Mrs. Stanford's brother, Mr. Charles 
G. Lathrop, who cared for with sympathetic hand the scanty receipts 
and scanty fragments of these harassed days. The warm sympathy 
of Thomas Welton Stanford came from across the seas. His gift of 
the Library Building came as a shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 

At last, adjustment of one kind after another being made, there 
was a glimpse of daylight, when we were thrust without warning into 
still darker night. 

The government suit for fifteen millions was brought for the pur- 
pose of tying up everything in the Stanford estate until the debts of 
the Central Pacific Railway were paid. It was not claimed that the 
university owed anything, or that the Stanford estate owed anything, 
or that the railway owed anything, on which payment was due, and as a 
matter of fact the Southern Pacific Company paid in full every dollar 
it owed to the government as soon as it became due, and with full in- 
terest. There was never any reason to suppose that it would not do so, 
and never any reason to suppose that it could not afford to pay this 
debt, for the power to control the line from Ogden to San Francisco, 
called the Central Pacific, was in itself an enormous asset, worth the 
value of this debt. Failure to pay this debt would have meant loss of 
control of the most valuable single factor in the great railroad system. 

The claim of the United States was secured by a second mortgage 
on the Central Pacific. It was supposed that it would be sold to satisfy 
the first mortgage, and that it would realize no more than this sum, 
leaving, as a railway manager cynically expressed it, nothing but " two 
streaks of rust and the right of way." The government proposed, by 
a sort of injunction, to hold up the Stanford property, which would 
then be seized, in case the Southern Pacific Railway system should at 
some future time be found in debt. There was no warrant in law or 
in good policy for this suit. One United States judge spoke of it as 
" the crime of the century." It is not easy to work out the motives, 



JANE LATHROP STANFORD 163 

political or personal or what not, which inspired it. Fortunately, just 
now it makes no difference. 

The hardest feature of the matter lay in the attitude of those 
jointly interested in the ownership of the Southern Pacific System. 
These men declined to give any assistance in the struggle for justice 
and for the endowment of the university. All were financially con- 
cerned in the final outcome, but they left her to make the fight alone 
and at her own cost. 

It should be said that none of the present owners or managers of 
the Southern Pacific were in any way concerned in this matter. It is 
also fair to say that this attitude was only the business man's point of 
view. It seemed impossible to save the estate and the university to- 
gether. All receipts of the railroads (there were no profits) were 
needed to continue its operations, and the outlays of the university 
seemed to tho other owners of the railway system to involve a danger- 
ous policy. On the other hand, to Mrs. Stanford the estate existed 
solely for the benefit of the university. To save the estate on these 
terms was to her like throwing over the passengers to lighten the ship. 
And as matters turned out, the university, the estate and the railway 
were all saved alike. 

Perhaps we can get at the nature of this suit from a couple of let- 
ters written at the time. I find on our files a letter sent in November, 
1894, to President Eliot of Harvard. In this letter I said : 

I recognize of course that public sentiment can not be formed without a 
basis of knowledge. The peculiar conditions in which this university finds itself 
are not easily stated to the public. There are internal reasons why we can not 
well take the country into confidence. Some of these reasons are connected with 
the relations of the Stanford heirs. Others arise from our relations to our 
future partner, in whose power we are, until the government suit is disposed of, 
that is, until the settlement of the estate. 

The grounds of the government suit, in brief, are these. The Central Pacific 
Railroad was regarded as an impossibility by most of the people of California. 
Its builders exhausted their funds and their credit and tried in vain to get help 
from every quarter, even after receiving large donations of land then worthless. 
The U. S. government came to their aid, whether wisely or not, ... it does not 
matter at present. The road when finished bore a first mortgage, covering all 
that it is now worth. The government took a second mortgage upon it as 
security for the payment of the debt due for the bonds it had advanced in aid 
of the corporation. . . . 

There is a law in California, by which the original stockholders in a cor- 
poration are personally liable for its debts, if suit be begun within three years 
after the organization of the corporation. This law was intended to check 
" wild-cat " speculations. 

It is claimed that under this law the estates of Stanford and Huntington 
are still liable for the amount of the second mortgage, to come due in a few 
years. It is claimed that the three-years' limitation does not hold against the 
government. This question of liability had not been raised when the estates of 
the two remaining partners were distributed, and its enforcement would be 
possible as against the Stanford estate alone, as Mr. Huntington, being alive, 



i6 4 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

can withdraw his interests to Mexico, should the suit against Mr. Stanford be 
successful. Meanwhile, by the way, the question is tested for him at the expense 
of the Stanford estate, the railroad interests of which are in his hands as 
president of the road. . . . 

It is believed by all jurists whom we have consulted, that the government 
has no case. The limitation of three years being an integral part of the statute 
in question, must hold against the government as against others. Furthermore, 
the aid extended by the government was not a debt incurred in business of the 
corporation. 

However this may be, the courts will decide justly. Our anxiety is that 
they may decide speedily. 

As to the various criticisms which you mention, permit me a word. In all 
personal matters, Mr. Stanford was perfectly truthful and just. Except in 
matters pertaining to the division of the earnings and bonds of the Central 
Pacific and the fact that its affairs were not made public, I have never heard 
his railroad career seriously criticized. In California, he had a very wide fol- 
lowing among the best men, men who liked and respected him, not on account 
of his wealth and railroad connections, but rather in spite of them. In all the 
railroad war through which this state is passing, no responsible person has 
uttered a slur against Mr. Stanford or against the university. 

It is not true that Mr. Stanford pretended to give the university a dollar 
more than he gave. He gave the three farms, formerly valued at $5,000,000, in 
these times worth much less; all the movable stock upon them, about $1,000,000 
more; the university buildings costing $1,250,000; and by will $2,500,000 in 
cash. It was agreed by Mr. and Mrs. Stanford that each should be the residuary 
legatee of the other, and that whichever should survive should devote the rest 
of his or her life and estate to the university. The Stanford estate is therefore 
the university's endowment. Not in law but in fact the estate is the university. 
It was Mr. Stanford's feeling, and I was fully aware of it, that should his wife 
survive him, she should be free to endow the university and to control it as he 
had done. No one has ever struggled more loyally to do so than Mrs. Stanford. 
Since her husband died we have not received a dollar of his money, but the 
university has gone on without check or hindrance, though at times she has 
been forced to give up luxuries and to limit her expenses in every conceivable 
way. As a matter of fact, she has each year given me a personal bond for all 
she thinks that she can raise from the farms and from her own small personal 
property. Her devotion to the work is absolute and she is giving her life to it. 
When she loses, she will die. 

The lands are unsalable only because the deed of gift prohibits their sale. 
In Mr. Stanford's lifetime they were conducted as parks. When they came into 
our hands, their products fell short by $10,000 to $20,000 per month of meeting 
the pay-rolls. This year under Mrs. Stanford's direction, they have yielded 
upwards of $150,000 above expenses. The sale of colts is a source of revenue 
now that the reputation of the Palo Alto stud is made. 

No cash has ever been set aside in advance, for very simple reasons. I could 
not ask for it. Mr. Stanford was not expecting sudden death, financial panics, 
nor an attack from the government. He paid in cash all salaries and all bills, 
placed no limits on me, and on his sudden death left no debts against the uni- 
versity. There are now no debts left against his estate, which is appraised at 
$17,000,000, except the government claim which acts as an injunction tying 
everything up. It is not true that Mr. Stanford tried to " rear a personal 
monument by a good use of ill-gotten money." No one ever gave money in a 
more generous spirit, and there have not been many great givers who placed so 



JANE LATHBOP STANFORD 165 

few restrictions on their gifts. Personal vanity does not give without restric- 
tions in its own interest. He claimed that no man in California was the poorer 
for his wealth, which was true. It never occurred to him that it was "ill- 
gotten " or needed any apology. 

I know better than any one else, except his wife, can, how genuine Mr. 
Stanford's interest was. He treated me, and through me, the university, with 
perfect truthfulness and justice. For my part and that of the faculty, we have 
tried to make the fund in our possession, count every dollar for a dollar to the 
best advancement of higher education. 

As to the public at large, in time they will judge us by our fruits, if we 
are allowed to live to bear fruitage. 

To a loyal friend of Governor Stanford, Senator Hoar of Massa- 
chusetts, I wrote this on June 20, 1894 : 

You will pardon me for writing to you to express my very great pleasure 
and that of Mrs. Stanford in the stand you have taken in defence of Senator 
Stanford's memory and in the effort you have made toward the protection of 
the university from the evil effects of prolonged litigation in which its endow- 
ment would be at stake. 

You who knew Senator Stanford well know that the recent attack of Mr. 
Geary on his motives was without foundation in fact. The feeling of revenge 
at any real or supposed slight on the part of the legislature in connection with 
the State University, had nothing to do with his actions. He was not a man 
to cherish that kind of feelingB. The sole basis that accusation had was this: 
Mr. Stanford acted for a few days as a member of the State Board of Regents. 
He was very much surprised to find that this board ignored the recommenda- 
tions of the president of the university, and in general were disposed to treat 
the university chairs as personal "spoils." This led Mr. Stanford to doubt 
whether, if he should endow a university for California, it would be wise to 
place it in the hands of a political board of regents. These conditions in the 
State Board have now changed for the better. Mr. Stanford always spoke most 
kindly of the State University. He frequently consulted with its professors and 
it was a great pleasure for him to know that the new institution has in every 
way helped the old one. The friendly rivalry has been most salutary to both. 
Instead of 450 college students in one school as in 1890, there are now 1,700 
students in the two, besides the professional classes. 

As a matter of fact, Mr. and Mrs. Stanford founded the university with 
the sole purpose of putting their fortune to the best use of their country. 
I know Mr. Stanford's motives in this regard as well as one man can know the 
motives of another, and I know that no feeling of revenge and no selfish feeling 
entered into these motives*. 

The university has now safely passed every other serious difficulty. Mrs. 
Stanford has no other purpose in life than that of carrying out every detail of 
her husband's purposes. Her devotion has shown itself in maintaining the work 
of the university unimpaired during this period of hard times, while the estates 
are in probate, and therefore not available for university purposes. 

It would, I believe, be a great national calamity if this great fund were 
lost to higher education. It would be almost as great a calamity if it were 
exposed to the delay and loss of prolonged litigation. 

I assure you that the great majority of the self-respecting people of Cali- 
fornia are very grateful to you for what you have done towards the protection 
of the university endowment. 



1 66 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

The story of the passing of the great suit is known to all the old 
students of the university. 

It was brought to trial in San Francisco in the United States Dis- 
trict Court, and the university side of the question had the strong sup- 
port of the great jurist, John Garber. 

The decision of Judge Boss was against the claim" of the govern- 
ment. It was appealed and came before Judges Morrow, Gilbert and 
Hawley, who again found no merit in the government contention. It 
was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, and here our 
case seemed hopeless. The Supreme Court moves slowly, and our life- 
blood was ebbing fast. It takes money to run a university, and our 
money was almost gone. To delay the matter was to destroy us, and 
no one but ourselves had any interest in pushing along the decision. 

Finally Mrs. Stanford went to Washington to appeal to President 
Cleveland. She told him our story, and beseeched him to use his in- 
fluence for a speedy settlement. Once for all, let us know the future 
and we will stand by it. At last, President Cleveland saw his duty, 
and through his influence the Stanford case was placed on the calendar 
of the United States Supreme Court for speedy trial. Joseph Choate, 
whose name every Stanford man should hold in grateful memory, 
supplemented the work of John Garber. The case came to trial, and 
by a unanimous decision, the work of Justice Harlan, Stanford Uni- 
versity was again free ! 

The boys celebrated the victory as Stanford boys can. The United 
States Postoffice on the campus, a wooden shack now removed, was 
painted cardinal red, to its great improvement in appearance, and once 
for all and forever the future of the university was assured. 

This was the end of the dark days, but not of the days that were 
difficult. There were still eight millions of dollars to be paid. There 
was still the uncertainty as to whether Mrs. Stanford could survive 
to pay it, and the estate must come into her hands before she could give 
it to the university. She made many attempts to facilitate this trans- 
fer. At one time, we have the pathetic figure of the good woman going 
to the Queen's Jubilee in London, with all her own possessions, half a 
million of dollars worth of jewels, in a suit case carried in her hand. 
She hoped to sell these to advantage, when all the world was gathered 
in London. But the market was not good, and three fourths of them 
she brought back to California again. 

And this seems the appropriate place for the story of the jewel 
fund. It is told in an address made at the foundation of the Library 
Building, and again and finally in a resolution of the Board of Trustees. 
On May 15, 1905, 1 said : 

There was once a man — a real man, vigorous, wealthy and powerful. He 
loved his wife greatly, for she, wise, loyal, devoted, was worthy of such love. 
And because among all the crystals in all the world the diamond is the hardest 



JANE LATHROP STANFORD 167 

and sparkles the brightest, and because the ruby is most charming, and the 
emerald gentlest — the man bought gifts of these all for his wife. 

As the years passed a great sorrow came to them; their only child died in 
the glory of his youth. In their loneliness there came to these two the longing 
to help other children, to use their wealth and power to aid the youth of future 
generations to better and stronger life. They lived in California and they loved 
California; and because California loved them, as she loves all her children, 
this man said, " The children of California shall be my children." To make this 
true in very fact he built for them a beautiful " Castle in Spain," with cloisters 
and towers, and " red tiled roofs against the azure sky " — for " skies are bluest 
in the heart of Spain." This castle, the Castle of Hope, which they called the 
university, they dedicated to all who might enter its gates, and it became to 
them the fulfilment of the dream of years — a dream of love and hope, of faith 
in God and good will toward men. 

In the course of time the man died. The power he bore vanished; his 
wealth passed to other hands; the work he had begun seemed likely to fail. But 
the woman rose from her second great sorrow and set herself bravely to the 
task of completing the work as her husband had planned it. " The children of 
California shall be my children" — that thought once spoken could never be 
unsaid. The doors of the castle once opened could never be closed. To those 
who helped her in these days she said: "We may lose the farms, the railways, 
the bonds, but still the jewels remain. The university can be kept alive by these 
till the skies clear and the money which was destined for the future shall come 
into the future's hands. The university shall be kept open. When there is no 
other way, there are still the jewels." 

Because there always remained this last resource, the woman never knew 
defeat. No one can who strives for no selfish end. " God's errands never fail," 
and her errand was one of good will and mercy. And when the days were 
darkest, the time came when it seemed the jewels must be sold. Across the sea 
to the great city this sorrowful, heroic woman journeyed alone with the bag of 
jewels in her hand that she might sell them to the money changers that flocked 
to the Queen's Jubilee. Sad, pathetic mission, fruitless, in the end, but full of 
all promise for the future of the university, founded in faith and hope and love 
— the trinity, St. Paul says, of things that abide. 

But the jewels were not sold, save only a few of them, and these served a 
useful purpose in beginning anew the work of building the university. Better 
times came. The money of the estate, freed from litigation, became available 
for its destined use. The jewels found their way back to California to be held 
in reserve against another time of need. 

A noble church was erected— one of the noblest in the land, a fitting part 
of the beautiful dream castle, the university. It needed to make it perfect the 
warmth of ornamentation, the glory of the old masters, who wrought " when art 
was still religion." To this end the jewels were dedicated. It was an appro- 
priate use, but the need again passed. Other resources were found to adorn the 
church — to fill its windows with beautiful pictures, to spread upon its walls 
exquisite mosaics like those of St. Mark, rivaling even the precious stones of 
Venice. 

In the course of time the woman died also. She had the satisfaction of 
seeing the buildings of the university completed, the cherished plans of her 
husband, to which she had devoted anxious years, fully carried out. Death 
came to her in a foreign land, but in a message written before her departure 
to be read at the laying of the corner-stone of the great library, she made known 



168 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

the final destiny of the jewels. She directed that they should be sold and their 
value made a permanent endowment of the library of the university. 

And so the jewels have at least come to be the enduring possession of all 
the university — of all who may tread these fields or enter these corridors. In 
the memory of the earlier students they stand for the Quadrangle, whose doors 
they kept open, and for the adornment of the church, which shall be to all 
generations of students a source of joy and rest, a refining and uplifting influ- 
ence. To the students who are to come in future days the message of the jewels 
will be read in the books they study within these walls and the waves of their 
influence spreading out shall touch the uttermost parts of the earth. 

They say there is a language of precious stones, but I know that they speak 
in diverse tongues. Some diamonds tell strange tales, but not these diamonds. 
In the language of the jewels of Stanford may be read the lessons of faith, of 
hope and good will. They tell how Stanford was founded in love of the things 
that abide. 

It was resolved by the Board of Trustees on May 29, 1908, as 
follows : 

Whereas, it was a cherished plan of Mrs. Jane L. Stanford that all jewels 
left by her should be sold after her death, and that the proceeds (estimated by 
her at more than five hundred thousand dollars) should be invested as a perma- 
nent fund, of which the income should be used exclusively for the purchase of 
books for the Library of the Leland Stanford Junior University; and 

Whereas, the pressing financial needs of the university compelled her 
temporarily to forego said plan, and to sell many of said jewels in her lifetime 
in order to raise money to maintain the university; and 

Whereas, by communication delivered to this board at its meeting, held 
February 22, 1905, Mrs. Stanford declared: 

" In view of the facts and of my interest in the future development of the 
University Library, I now request the trustees to establish and maintain a 
library fund, and upon the sale of said jewels, after my departure from this 
life, I desire that the proceeds therefrom be paid into such fund and be pre- 
served intact, and invested in bonds or real estate as a part of the capital of 
the endowment, and that the income therefrom be used exclusively for the 
purchase of books and other publications. I desire that the fund be known and 
designated as the " Jewel Fund." I have created and selected a Library Com- 
mittee of the Board of Trustees, under supervision of which all such purchases 
should be made." 

Now, therefore, in order to carry out said plan of Mrs. Stanford and to 
establish and maintain an adequate library fund, and to perform the promise 
made by this board to her, it is 

Resolved, that a fund of five hundred thousand dollars, to be known and 
designated as the " Jewel Fund " is hereby created and established, which fund 
shall be preserved intact, and shall be separately invested and kept invested in 
bonds or real estate by the Board of Trustees, and the income of said fund shall 
be used exclusively in the purchase of books and other publications for the 
Library of the Leland Stanford Junior University, under the supervision and 
direction of the Library Committee of this Board of Trustees. 

It was in these dark days that I was asked by President Cleveland 
through Mr. Charles S. Hamlin, to go to Bering Sea to help settle the 
fur seal disputes. 

Before I started, in 1896, Mrs. Stanford said : « Now that our af- 



JANE LATHROP STANFORD 169 

fairs are looking so much better, do you not think that I might afford 
to bring back my housekeeper ?" Her servants then were her secretary, 
her Chinese cook, and an old man, a servant of other days, who served 
as butler, without salary. 

It was in these days, too, that Mrs. Stanford, going to Washington 
to settle up the household affairs of the mansion occupied while Mr. 
Stanford was senator, took four hundred dollars with her, lived in the 
private car owned by the Governor, attended to the packing of her 
goods, and the rental of her house to a senator from New York, and 
brought back $340 of the amount, which she turned over to me, to be 
used for the university. I have given this and other details private 
and personal, but full of meaning as showing her devotion to the uni- 
versity, and her utter unselfishness in carrying out the plans made by 
herself and her husband for the welfare of the men and women of the 
coming generations of California and of the world. While matters in- 
side the faculty and the details of instruction were left to those sup- 
posed to be experts in these lines, for this was her husband's wish, she 
had always before her his purposes. " What would Mr. Stanford do 
under these conditions?" was always her first question; and in almost 
every instance this question led to a wise decision. 

To outside suggestions as to this or that, she used to reply : " I will 
never concern myself with the religion, the politics or the love affairs 
of any professor in Stanford University." And this resolution she 
religiously kept. 

With the passing of the government suit, conditions looked brighter. 
The payment of the eight millions went on very slowly, because the 
railway holdings could not be broken an^niust be sold as a whole if at 
all. The taxes on properties yielding no income became an intolerable 
burden. Besides, it was apparent that the original enabling act under 
which the Board of Trustees was organized contained grave defects, 
which might invalidate the actions of this Board. For this reason, 
mainly, the Board of Trustees existed in name only, Mrs. Stanford 
being in fact the sole trustee. 

In 1899 the railroad holdings were sold, to good advantage, thanks 
to the good offices of a well-known German banker whose name I am 
glad to speak, James Speyer, and the estate at once passed out of debt. 
Finally, piece by piece, it passed into Mrs. Stanford's hands, and each 
piece was at once deeded to the Board of Trustees. The Board of 
Trustees was legalized by a change in the State Constitution. The 
university was by the same means relieved of part of the burden of its 
taxes. At the earliest possible moment, Mrs. Stanford again and in 
full transferred the whole estate to the board, reserving for herself a 
relatively small sum " to play with " as she said, but in fact to give her 
occupation and means to carry out in her own way other plans of 
strengthening the university and of helping mankind. The Board of 



170 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Trustees was then organized as a working body. Mrs. Stanford became 
its president, and this history passes over into the bright days of the 
dawn of the twentieth century. 

Mrs. Stanford then left the university for a trip around the world 
by way of Australia and Ceylon. This was not that she wanted to see 
the world, or to be absent from her beloved Palo Alto, but that she 
wished to give to the Board of Trustees absolute freedom in taking up 
their great responsibilities. She wished them to handle the accumu- 
lated funds on their own initiative, without suggestion from herself. 

The rest of the story can be told by others, for it is an open record. 
The whole may be summed up in these words of Mrs. Stanford in a 
letter written to me September 3, 1898: 

Every dollar I can rightfully call mine is sacredly laid on the altar of my 
love for the university, and thus it ever shall be.. 

That all this may seem more real, I venture to quote a few para- 
graphs from personal letters of Mrs. Stanford written in the dark days 
from 1893 to 1899. 

On November 24, 1895, Mrs. Stanford wrote from the university: 

It has been my policy to say as little about my financial affairs to the 
outside world as possible, but I feel sure that I am doing myself and our blessed 
work injustice by allowing the impression among all classes to feel certain 
there is plenty of money, at my command, the future is assured, the battle 
fought and won. ... I only ask righteous justice. I ask not for myself, but 
that I may be able to discharge my duty and loyalty to the one who trusted me, 
and loved me, and loves me still. I am so poor myself that I can not this year 
give to any charity; not even do 1 give this festive season to any of my family. 
I do not tell you this, kind friend, in a complaining way, for when one has 
pleasant surroundings, all we waift to eat and wear, added to this have those in 
their lives we can count on as friends, it would be sinful to complain. I repeat 
it only that you my friend may know, I ask only justice, to the dear ones gone 
from earth life and the living one left. 

I am willing you should speak plainly to any one who may question as to 
the university or myself. I have many devoted and true loyal friends in Wash- 
ington, and I am sure did they know I was kept from my rights, they would 
speak their sentiments openly, and when it was known a public sentiment was 
in my favor and against their unfairness, it would cause a different course to 
be pursued toward me. 1 shall henceforth speak plainly, and I desire you to 
do so. You will meet our good President, Mr. Cleveland, my good and true 
friend Secretary Carlisle, Mr. John Foster and many others, and you . . . can 
do our blessed work good and God will bless, the act, and bring fruit to bear 
from the seeds sown. I have kept myself and my affairs in the background. 
It has been an inspiration from the source from which all good comes, from my 
Father God — I trust Him to lead me all along the rest of the journey of life. 
He has led me thus far through the deep waters, and joy will come, for He 
never deserts the widow, the childless, the orphan. I have His promise " blessed 
are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." 

On the same day she said : 

Everything is going on smoothly as far as I know at the university. The 



JANE LATHROP STANFORD 171 

boys are wild over the game to be played. I hope they will win because my 
boys will be happy if they win. 

On July 20, 1896, she wrote to a candidate for a professorship: 

The university still is restricted and limited in its ambitions and its aims, 
because of my inability to increase the number of students or the number of 
professors. The gift of $2,500,000 in bonds which I have by the grace of God 
been enabled to give to the trustees for the present and future maintenance of 
the university brings in a monthly income of $10,000, while the actual expenses 
for the faculty and the president and the necessary matters bring the sum total 
of expenses per month to $19,000; This $9,000 1 am obliged to furnish myself, 
through the strictest economy and the husbanding of resources; consequently 
I am not increasing expenses but on the contrary shall retrench in the future. 

On December 28, 1895, she said : 

I must confess to a feeling of great pride in our entire body of students, 
both male and female, and I think we are all in a way under obligations to 
them for their uniformly good conduct, and a desire, as my dear husband once 
expressed it, to be ladies and gentlemen. 

On July 29, 1895, she wrote : 

I send a precious letter from Mr. Andrew White for you to read. I read it 
with a heart running over with various emotions. Mr. Stanford esteemed him 
so highly I could not but feel like asking God to let my loved ones in heaven 
know the contents of this letter. I prize this letter beyond my ability to 
express. It lifted my soul from its heaviness. My heart is one unceasing- 
prayer to the Allwise, All Merciful one, that all will be well for the future of 
the good work under your care. When the end of our troubles is over, all 
(these letters) will be placed in your hands for future reading by our students,, 
a 9tory for them when I have passed into peace. 

Soon after, she wrote : 

I return herewith Mr. Choate's kind letter. God bless him, for he was a~ 
friend indeed. 

After the decision of Judge Ross (July 6, 1895), she wrote: 

I dare not let my soul rejoice over the future. It must be more sure than 
it is now. I hope and pray that the final decision will be as sure as the first. 
It means more to me than you or the world have dreamed. It means an unsul- 
lied, untarnished name as a blessed heritage to the university. My husband 
often used to say: "A good name is better than riches." God can not but be 
touched by my constant pleading, and this first decision by Judge Ross makes 
me humble that I so unworthy should have received the smallest attention. 

From Paris, August 30, 1897, she wrote: 

I wish the rest of my responsibilities caused me as little care as does the 
internal working of the good work. I am only anxious to furnish you the funds 
to pay the needs required. I could live on bread and water to do this, my part, 
and would feel that God and my loved ones in the life beyond this smiled on the 
efforts to ensure the future of my dear husband's work to better humanity. 

Again, in 1897, she writes to her trusted solicitor, Russell Wilson: 
I stand almost alone in this blessed work left to my care, and I want and 



172 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

need the president's support and his helpfulness in this work as far as he can 
support me. There are plenty who are interested in the affairs of the estate 
with me, but few in the university. 

In July, 1898, she said: 

If I am able to keep the university in the condition it is now, I shall be 
more than thankful. $15,000 a month is a great expenditure, and exhausts my 
ingenuity and resources to such an extent that had I not the university so close 
to my heart I would relieve myself of this enormous burden and take rest and 
recreation for the next year. But I prefer to see the good work going on in 
its present condition, and I am not promising myself anything further for the 
future until the skies are brighter than they are now. 

On December 14, 1900, she repeats: 

I could lay down my life for the university. Not for any pride in its 
perpetuating the names of our dear son and ourselves, its founders, but for 
the sincere hope I cherish in its sending forth to the world grand men and 
women who will aid in developing the best there is to be found in human nature. 

These extracts, largely from business letters, will show better than 
any words of mine her spirit and her faith. These must justify and 
make live the words I used on February 28, 1905, the date of Mrs. 
Stanford's sudden death in Honolulu. 

The sudden death of Mrs. Stanford has come as a great shock to all of us. 
She has been so brave and strong that we hoped for her return well rested, and 
that her last look on earth might be on her beloved Palo Alto. But it was a 
joy to her to have been spared so long; to have lived to see the work of her 
husband's life and hers firmly and fully established. 

Hers has been a life of the most perfect devotion both to her own and her 
husband' 8 ideals. If in the years we knew her she ever had a selfish feeling, no 
one ever detected it. All her thoughts were of the university and of the way 
to make it effective for wisdom and righteousness. 

No one outside of the university can understand the difficulties in her way 
in the final establishment of the university, and her patient deeds of self- 
sacrifice can be known only to those who saw them from day to day. Some day 
the world may understand a part of this. It will then know her for the wisest, 
as well as the most generous, friend of learning in our time. It will know her 
as the most loyal and most devoted of wives. What she did was always the 
"best she could do. Wise, devoted, steadfast, prudent, patient and just — every 
good word we can use was hers by right. The men and women of the university 
feel the loss not alone of the most generous of helpers, but of the nearest of 
friends. 

To these words spoken when the shock of the death of the mother 
of the university first came to her children, I added later a single 
thought as to Mrs. Stanford's conception of the future development of 
the university. 

It should be above all other things, sound and good, using its forces not 
for mental development alone, but for physical, moral and spiritual growth and 
strength. It should make not only scholars, but men and women, alert, fearless, 
wise. God-fearing, skilled in "team work" and eager to "get into the game," 
whatever the struggle into which they may be thrown. To this end she would 



JANE LATUROP STANFORD 173 

have the university not large but choice. There should be no more students 
than could be well taken care of, no more departments than could be placed in 
master hands, no teachers to whom the students could not look up as to men 
whose work and life should be an inspiration to them. The buildings should 
be beautiful, for to see beautiful things in a land of beauty is one of the greatest 
elements in the refinement of clean men and women. Great libraries and great 
collections the university should have, but libraries and collections should be 
chosen for their fitness in the training of men. And with all the activities of 
athletics, of scholarly research, of the applications of science to engineering, the 
spirit of "self-devotion and of self-restraint," by which lives have been "made 
beautiful and sweet" through all the centuries should rise above all else, 
dominating the lower aspirations and activities as the great church towers 
above the red tiles of the lower buildings. But for all this, the Church should 
exist for men — for the actual men who enter its actual doors — not men for the 
Church. For this reason, any special alliance with any of the historic churches 
of Christendom is forever forbidden. 

We do not yet see nil these things. Rome was not built in a day, nor 
Stanford in a century. But as the old pioneers returning now behold in solid 
stone the dream-castles of their college days, so shall you, Stanford men and 
women, find here as you come back to future reunions, the university of your 
dreams, the university of great libraries and noble teachers, the university of 
the perfect democracy of literature and science, " of sell-devotion and of self- 
restraint," the university in which earnest men and women find the best possible 
preparation for work in life, the university which sends out men who will make 
the future of the republic worthy of the glories of its past, the university of 
the plans and hopes of Leland Stanford, the university of the faith and work 
and prayer of Jane Lathrop Stanford. 



174 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



LIFE FROM THE BIOLOGIST'S STANDPOINT 1 

By Professor WILLIAM E. RITTER 

MARINE BIOLOGICAL STATION OF SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 

THE data of biology are living plants and animals. These are what 
nature presents. To these we must always go in order to make 
a beginning at any investigation. Is one interested in ganglionic cells, 
or germ cells, or liver secretions, or degenerate organs? He must 
find some kind of animal that has, or produces, or can yield such things. 
In making a successful quest for '"' material," it always turns out that 
a particular individual plant or animal, one or more, furnishes it. 
One may not be able to tell exactly what he means by an individual tree 
or man, but he must have one before he can study it or any part of it. 
Definitions of natural objects come at the end, rather than at the begin- 
ning, of our knowledge of them. 

We biologists frequently speak of the principle of life, or the germs 
of life, and of many other particular manifestations of organisms, as 
though they were something really existent independently of particular 
organisms. Such questions as: Which came first, or is more funda- 
mental, the chick or the egg; structure or function; life or organiza- 
tion? are frequently asked with more or less seriousness. Herbert 
Spencer devotes considerable space to the inquiry as to whether life or 
organization appeared first. He writes : 

It may be argued that on the hypothesis of Evolution, Life necessarily 
comes before organisation. On this hypothesis, organic matter in a state of 
homogeneous aggregation must precede organic matter in a state of heterogeneous 
aggregation. But since the passing from a structureless state to a structural 
state is itself a vital process, it follows that vital activity must have existed 
while there was yet no structure: structure could not else arise. That function 
takes precedence of structure seems also implied in the definition of Life. 

He continues: 

If Life is shown by inner actions so adjusted as to balance outer actions 

1 During the academic year 1908-9 the program of the Philosophical Union 
of the University of California consisted of a series of discussions led by 
speakers representing various departments of biology and framed in a spirit 
compatible with the broad aims of such an association. This was the con- 
cluding paper of the year. 

Wir denken heute durchweg more biologico. . . . 

. . . dass die Biologie selbst heute noch im Zustand des garenden Werdens, 
der tastenden Unsicherheit sich befindet, also ftir eine Grundlegung der sichersten 
aller Wissenschaften, der formel Logik, noch keine Eignung besitzt, begeht der 
Pragmatismus denselben Circulus vitiosus dem auch Hume nicht zu entrinnen 
vermochte. . . . — Ludtcig Stein. 



LIFE FROM THE BIOLOGISTS STANDPOINT 175 

. . . ; then may we not say that the actions to be formed must come before that 
which forms them . . . that the continuous change which is the basis of func- 
tion, must come before the structure that brings function into shape? 1 

Greatly to Mr. Spencer's credit he tells us in another connection (p. 
197), that " in truth this question is not determinable by any evidence 
now accessible." We must go a long way beyond this position and 
recognize that not only is the question not determinable "by any evi- 
dence now accessible," but that there is not the slightest indication that 
such evidence ever will be accessible. What we have to see is that all 
suck discussions are utterly futile for science; indeed, that they have 
no legitimate place in inductive science. 

Has anybody ever seen an egg that was not produced by some 
organism; some function without structure, or vice versa; some life 
without organization, or organization independent of life ? Surely not. 
Then equally surely you can make no assumption that involves the 
disjunction of either member of one of these couples from the other, 
without attempting to transcend experience — without becoming in so 
far an a priorist pure and simple. 

Now you may perhaps have the privilege of being an a priorist pure 
and simple, if you want it, but in case you choose thus you can not have 
a seat in the temple of physical science for one instant. On the basis 
of experience science can- project itself far in advance of experience, but 
only on that basis can it thus project itself. 

So much for the data, the starting places of biology. They are 
individual animals and plants, living in nature. It is wholesome for 
any domain of science to stop now and then and ask what its original 
data are. Such inquiry not only yields enlightenment, interesting and 
useful of itself, but it is further illuminating as to the way a science 
deals, and must deal, with its raw material — its " givens." 

Notice the procedure in a special case. Observe how oceanography 
proceeds in studying the Pacific Ocean. Of what is that vast sea com- 
posed? First of all of water, H 2 0. No doubt about that. Dis- 
solved in this are various mineral salts, chlorides of sodium and 
magnesium, particularly, and the gases 0, N and C0 2 . These with 
perhaps a few other elements and the ocean is chemically accounted 
for. Yet how far have we gone toward a knowledge of the Pacific 
Ocean when we have found that it is thus constituted? Even though 
we should have ascertained the total quantity of water, salts and gases 
in the entire Pacific, we should have scarcely made a beginning on the 
oceanography of this body of water. Its form and boundaries; its 
connections with other oceans ; the character of its bottom ; its islands, 
continental and oceanic; its currents; its tides; the up- welling waters 
on its eastern margins; its temperature in general, and in particular 
parts, and dozens of other matters, are quite over and beyond anything 

""Principles of Biology," Vol. I., p. 210. 



176 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

that strict chemical knowledge can reach. Oceanography as now 
understood is quite impossible without chemistry, but it by no means 
follows that chemistry is the whole of oceanography. Physics is as 
essential as chemistry; and geology and astronomy are in turn as 
essential as physics. 

So with the other inorganic sciences. Spectroscopy, a department 
of chemistry, has been largely the making of modern stellar astronomy. 
Yet is not such a problem as that of the variable stars, something over 
and above spectroscopy? Is it conceivable that spectroscopy alone 
would ever have discovered variable stars, and formulated the many 
interesting questions about them that astronomy is now asking? 

Do not the same principles of constitution, and study of constitu- 
tion, hold when we enter the domam of living objects? They surely 
do. Organisms have their own special qualities and so present their 
own problems, exactly as do oceans and stars. Biology depends* upon, 
but at the same time transcends, chemistry and physics, in exactly the 
same way that astronomy rests upon but transcends chemistry and 
physics. We are here on the threshold of one of the oldest, in many 
of its aspects one of the most familiar scientific and philosophic puz- 
zles; namely, that of the relation of a whole to the elements which 
compose it. 

Alas for the proneness of humankind to go all awry with itself and 
nature from not duly heeding the commonest, most familiar things! 
Hear this dialogue that comes to us across a stretch of two thousand 
years : 

Socrates — " Suppose one were to ask you a question about the first syllable 
in the name Socrates, and say ' Theaetetus, tell me what SO is/ what would 
you answer ? " 

Thewtctus—" That it is S and O." 

8. — "Well, have you not there the reasoned statement of the syllable ?" 

T.— " Yes, certainly." 

8. — " Proceed then and give me in the same way the reasoned statement 
of S." 

T. — "But how can one give the elements of an element? For indeed, 
Socrates, S is one of the voiceless letters, a mere sound, as it were a whistling 
of the tongue. . . ." 

8. — " But stay, I wonder if we are right in laying it down that while the 
element is not knowable the combination is? . . ." 

T. — " That would be strange beyond all reason, Socrates. . . ." 

8. — " Perhaps we ought to have taken the combination to be not the sum 
of the elements, but a single form resulting from them, with an individual shape 
of its own, and differing from the elements." 

T. — " Certainly, very possibly this view is more correct than the other. . . ." 

8. — " Then let the combination be, as we now put it, a single form, alike in 
letters and in everything else, resulting from the conjunction of harmonious 
elements in each case." * 

8 "The Theaetetus and Philebus of Plato," translated by H. F. Carlill, in 
" New Classical Libary." 



LIFE FROM THE BIOLOGISTS STANDPOINT 177 

As long as the mind of the interpreter is human, the whole truth of 
a complex natural object or proposition can never be ascertained from 
knowledge of its components alone. Or varying this statement, you 
can never give a full account of any whole in terms of its elements. 

In spite of the ocean and the 6tars as illustrating the truth thus 
formulated, the statement sounds dogmatic. We must examine it 
farther. 

The presumption that biological phenomena may be adequately 
treated in terms of chemistry and physics takes care of itself so far as 
strict science is concerned, since its utter futility becomes apparent 
almost immediately it is put to rigid experimental test. For one thing, 
it results in constant effort to extend generalizations far beyond where 
later study will permit them to stand. It leads inevitably to a forcing 
of evidence, which process sooner or later comes to grief. 

One- aspect of this forcing is almost certain betrayal into an. illegiti- 
mate use of the analogical mode of reasoning. For instance, an analogy 
is often drawn between the so-called reversed actions in chemistry, and 
what is spoken of as a return of certain animals — certain worms — to 
the egg state. As a matter of fact the earlier speaker who drew this 
analogy might have used the " second-childhood " of the old man as well 
as the supposed second egg state of the worm. One has as much in 
common as the other with the chemical process for which correspond- 
ence was claimed. 

You must not understand by this that I condemn, wholly, com- 
parison and analogy in reasoning. On the contrary, I attach great 
importance to these, as would become clear were this discussion to be 
carried into regions where it is not possible for it to go now. In so 
far as there is resemblance between reversed chemical action and grow- 
ing old, the fact is illuminating, and to have discovered it is good. 
My criticism is directed not against pointing out the resemblance, but 
against not pointing out the difference at the same time, thus leaving 
the inference that one process accounts for or explains the other. 

It is in its wider bearings, its bearings beyond strict specialties 
in science, that the influence of the theory of physical-chemical ade- 
quacy in the treatment of life phenomena is most unfortunate. Only 
when regarded from this larger standpoint does its withering effect 
on the scientific spirit and method generally, and on man's attitude 
toward nature, become apparent. 

The subject is, according to my view, so vital that I must ask you 
to look into it more closely. This we can not do without running a 
little into what these walls are accustomed to hear about under the 
term theory of knowledge, or epistemology. Most of us would agree 
that we have to use both our senses and our minds in science. Most 
would agree too that that workman is the most efficient who uses his 
instruments the most intelligently — who is not a mere rule-of-thumb 



178 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

workman. How then do our minds and our senses work while we do 
science? Are there general principles of operation, to know which 
would enable us to use them more smoothly, more surely, more pro- 
ductively? Let us watch them while they work at some problem of 
chemistry, say. To be as objective as possible we will use common 
table salt. We began with a general acquaintance with the article. 
How do we become thus acquainted? Surely in no other way than 
by examining it. We touch our tongues to it, it dissolves readily and 
has a characteristic taste. Examining this dissolving propensity 
minutely, we find that in distilled water at a definite temperature, a 
definite quantity will be taken up. Its solubility is thus determined. 

The moment we handle it in considerable amount we note that it 
is rather heavy. In water it sinks quickly. This property we ex- 
amine more closely and find that a specific gravity characterizes it. 

In a pulverized state it is pure white. If, however, we let it 
evaporate slowly, we get cubical crystals, not white but transparent. 

We may suppose now we have examined all the physical properties 
of salt. But surely our knowledge is not yet complete. We know 
nothing of its composition. Before beginning on this chemical exten- 
sion of our knowledge, let us take due note of the fact that table salt 
is a definite thing to us; we can use it in a hundred ways and rely 
implicitly upon it, on the basis of this physical knowledge alone. We 
do not have to know whether it is simple or compound in order to get 
its benefits as salt. Physical knowledge of it we must have before we 
can use it in any way. Chemical knowledge, understanding by this 
knowledge of constituents, we need not have. 

But since we started out to know salt through and through, we must 
become salt chemists. We must decompose the substance, if it turns 
out to be compound, and examine its constituents as carefully as we 
examined the substance itself. To make the story short we get sodium 
and chlorine. But we must not so shorten the story as to fail to see 
what we do in examining these constituents. What is it that we do? 
We proceed exactly as we did in examining the salt. We determine 
their physical properties. The sodium is opaque, and bright metallic 
in color. Ordinarily it is amorphous and waxy. Instead of dissolving 
in water as does the salt, it decomposes water. Instead of sinking 
quickly, it floats. It melts at 95°. 6 C, while 776° of heat are required 
to melt salt. 

The chlorine, a gas at any temperature we can readily command, 
is greenish-yellow in color. Its odor is characteristically disagreeable, 
and it irritates our noses and throats. Like the salt it is soluble in 
water, but while the salt is more soluble in hot water than cold, chlorine 
is more soluble in cold water. It is heavier than air, though much 
lighter than water. 

What is the net result of our examination of the constituents of 



LIFE FROM THE BIOLOGISTS STANDPOINT 179 

salt? First and foremost an interesting lot of entirely new knowl- 
edge. Our understanding of salt has been broadened and deepened. 
Salt is a much more complex thing to us now than it was before. In- 
stead of simplifying salt by reducing it to its elements, we have greatly 
complicated it. But notice this particularly: The new knowledge has 
not enhanced by one jot our knowledge of the physical properties of 
salt. There is nothing whatever in the properties of the sodium or 
the chlorine that gives us any clue to the properties of the salt. We 
might, so far as the best cunning in observation we now .possess 
promises anything, examine the sodium and the chlorine till doomsday 
and never suspect that together they might produce salt, unless we 
happened to put them together and note that salt actually did result. 

This is a threadbare, school-book story. Why revamp it here? 
Because it is part, though an essential part, of a much larger story, 
the whole of which is rarely if ever told. Before we can reach the 
heart of the matter we must stop a moment with another fact so 
familiar as likewise to seem stale. Our physical examination of the 
salt, the sodium and the chlorine, were applications of the general 
principle that the first step in all knowledge of external objects is the 
determination of their physical qualities. The familiar expression 
is, " we know an object only by its properties, or qualities." Let 
us take this statement from its pigeon-hole of mere habit, and look 
at it reflectively. Does it mean that there are no natural objects 
in all the universe about which we can get knowledge in no way other 
than through their physical properties ? Those of you who say " yes, 
that is what it means/' I agree with, and with you might go on at once 
with the discussion. But some will, I suspect, hesitate to reply thus. 
To you who hesitate, I say that if there be objects which we may 
know by other means than through their physical properties, they 
must be namable, otherwise you could not claim for them a place in 
the physical world ; so I demand that you mention examples. You 
will probably name the atoms of the chemist and the ether of space. 
You are then, in so far as concerns the atoms, committed to the con- 
ception of propertyless atoms, are you not ? I ask you to tell me then 
exactly what it was that John Dalton and the other founders of modern 
chemistry actually did. Certainly there were atomic theories of the 
constitution of matter long before these men lived. Democritus and 
Newton, to say nothing of others, made much of such atoms. Why 
did the pre-Daltonian atoms signify nothing, or almost nothing for 
physical science? Because they were propertyless atoms. To attach 
to these old purely speculative, and hence scientifically useless atoms, 
one property of the particular substance to which they belong, was 
exactly what these chemists did. The property so attached was that 
of combining with other substances in definite ways. 

Analyze the atomic theory of modern chemistry and you will find 



i8o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

that all that makes it significant for chemical practise is expressible 
in this way: If any two substances unite with each other chemically, 
they do so in such a manner that there are no particles of them so 
small as not to follow the same law of combination that holds for the 
substances in bulk. 

Atoms in modern chemistry are small bodies imagined to constitute 
visible substances, and they are imagined for the purpose of incar- 
nating, if you will, the observed trait that substances have of combining 
with oi\e another according to known rules. As to most of the other 
properties of atoms, their shape, color, hardness, etc., if atoms are 
conceived to be anything else than little particles of the substances, 
science knows no more to-day than did Newton and Democritus. 

The purpose of this little excursion into the atomic doctrine, that 
border-land of physical science, is to bring home something of the 
mighty power there is in the properties of things, and in sense experi- 
ence. It is not too much to say that the modern science of chemistry 
was born then and there, when one property that substances have, viz., 
that of definite combination with other substances, was attached to 
the hitherto purely speculative, more or less mystical atoms of those 
substances. 

I ask you now to recall what was said about the way we deal with 
the salt, sodium and chlorine. Substantially the statement was that 
we have to treat them all on exactly the same basis, so far as the process 
of Icnowing is concerned. That is, we have to treat each one on the 
basis of its own properties. We can not touch sodium with our 
knowledge of the properties of chlorine, nor vice versa. Similarly, 
we can not touch sodium with our knowledge of the properties of salt, 
nor salt with our knowledge of the properties of sodium, except, 
mark you, as we may say that one property of sodium is its power 
to unite with chlorine to produce salt. My familiar expression for 
this is that the external world and our minds are so constituted, are 
so articulated with each other, that every object in that world must be 
treated on its own merits. Now notice that since these substances 
must be treated, each on its own merits, and since the sodium and 
chlorine have the power of combining with each other in such a re- 
markable way that they wholly lose their original properties, at least 
temporarily, and merge into another substance, salt, with properties 
wholly its own, we must recognize that the properties of substances 
manifest something of transitoriness and relativity. 

Thus are we led to the notion which I have ventured to speak of as 
the standardization of reality. The expression is suggested by the 
chemist's process of standardizing solutions; the process, that is, of 
using a solution of known composition and concentration as a unit 
of value to which to refer various reactions and processes. The mean- 
ing is that whatever criterion of reality you apply to any natural object, 



LIFE FROM THE BIOLOGISTS STANDPOINT 181 

that same criterion you must apply to all other natural objects, no 
matter whether some of these be constituents of others, or stand in 
some other relation to one another. 

Making the statement specific for the case of objects that are com- 
posed of other objects or substances, it runs thus : Whatever criterion 
of reality you apply as the test of the elements of a complex body or 
substance, exactly that same criterion you must apply as a test of 
the reality of the complex body itself. 

It follows from this, that with the question of a fundamental 
essence or substance behind properties, we are, as students of objective 
nature, in no wise concerned. As to whether there is or is not a real 
essence of sodium, or of salt, to which the sensible properties of these 
substances adhere, is no affair of ours. Physical science can not even 
raise the question of an absolute reality or realities behind the objects 
with which it deals. 

Now let us carry these considerations of the nature of objects and 
of minds, and the relation existing between them, up into trre realm 
of objects that we call living. The formulary will run thus: In 
whatever sense you predicate reality, or fundamental ity, or ultimateness 
to the germ or any part of an organism, in exactly the same sense you 
must predicate reality, or fundamental ity, or ultimateness to the com- 
pleted and whole organism. 

If you have been accustomed to look upon living nature with the 
conception that somewhere deeply hidden in the plants and animals 
you daily meet there is something more real than the organisms them- 
selves, something possessed of a potency wholly unique and mysterious 
as contrasted with that possessed by the visible beings ; or, if you have 
regarded living beings as ejects of your own consciousness — if, I say, 
you have been wont to thus regard organisms, grasp fully this concep- 
tion of reality and of measuring reality and you will find, I believe, 
that it will transform your world. It will increase your interest in 
every developed organism as contrasted with your interest in its germ, 
or any portion of the organism physical or psychical in almost direct 
proportion as the sensible complexity of the organism as a whole 
exceeds the sensible complexity of the germ or any part of the 
organism. 

Here is the epistemological necessity for the conception of an 
"organism as a whole," the biological compulsion of which we speak 
later. The point is simply this: Every object in nature has some 
nature of its own. That is just what makes it belong to nature. Con- 
sequently there must be something about it which can not be fully 
accounted for by referring it to something else in nature. For if you 
could thus dispose of every natural object, nature would consume 
itself in explanation. You would have the case of the Kilkenny 



i8 2 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

cats psychologized. We come here, I imagine, upon what virile truth 
there is in the " Ding an Sich," the " Thing in Itself ." 

I can not restrain my interest from going where I believe reality, 
to be. Contrariwise, I can not send it where I believe reality is not. 
Interest and attention, like natural forces generally, take the direction 
of least resistance ; and the places of greatest belief in reality are those 
of least resistance for attention. With this psychological basis to go 
on, illustration will carry us forward more surely and steadily than 
further argument. 

The very heart of that school of biology known as materialistic, 
or mechanistic, is its effort to interpret living beings by ascribing to 
invisible substances or bodies, located somewhere within the germ- 
cells and other cells of the body, reality and essentiality of a sort quite 
unique as contrasted with the visible substances, and the organisms 
themselves. Examine the program of this school attentively and you 
will see that it proposes to " explain " or " express " those parts of 
animate nature about which we know most, observationally , in terms 
of those parts about which we know least, observationally. It is un- 
doubtedly a quasi-inductive, semi-mystical program. 

The chemical materialist conceives certain compounds, never well- 
known ones mark you, enzymes for example, to be thus supremely 
endowed. The biological materialist on the other hand, ascribes this 
exalted role to imaginary, invisible living bodies hidden deep within 
the germ and other cells. Biology of the last three decades has be- 
stowed mighty powers upon such bodies under the designation " de- 
terminants." Only those familiar with the technical literature of the 
science during this time can have any notion of the influence these 
bodies have had. What have been, and what are the effects of such 
conceptions on biological theory and practise? I mention only a few 
of these. 

Nothing is more characteristic of the biological thought in highest 
repute to-day than its disposition to look down upon all those kinds 
of research not aimed at the elements of organisms — at " ultimate 
problems," as the expression goes. Most of those who labor in the 
biological vineyard but are not elementalists of some sort, will 
appreciate what I mean, for they will have personally felt the ban 
placed upon them by the dominant school. A few years ago one of 
our best known American zoologists, speaking from a position of 
national preferment in his science, reviewed comprehensively the 
present range of zoology, and did not hesitate to pass upon the labors 
of description and classification of animals as hardly worth while. 
In other words, he pronounced as not worth doing, the very things 
which an examination of the nature of the knowledge-getting process 
shows to be absolutely fundamental steps toward an understanding of 
living nature. 



LIKE FROM THE BIOLOGISTS STANDPOINT 183 

This zoologist, it is hardly necessary to say, is an elementalist at 
heart. Plants and animals, as nature presents them, are for him real 
in a way. They are of course what our naked, crass senses come in 
contact with, but the real essence of them, the thing we want to get 
at, lies far away in the germ-cells, in the chromosomes, in protoplasm. 
There is reality. There is the pole-star by which our compass should 
be set, according to his views. 

The consistent elementalist can not care much for description and 
classification, for these depend in the first instance on " mere qualities," 
while he is concerned with essences. The elementalisfs problems, like 
the pure intellectualist's, are always ultimate problems. For both any- 
thing this side of the absolute is only appearance. 

There is prevalent among many influential biologists, unfortunately 
for practical ends, a tendency to esteem what are called " gross " 
anatomy and physiology as of no great scientific value. To the ele- 
mentalist this is bound to be so. The structures and the activities of 
your bodies, as .the anatomist and physiologist of the ordinary kind 
sees them, are not their fundamentally real structures and activities. 
These are deep hidden in the uttermost recesses of your members. 
They are " probably " your proteid compounds, especially your enzymes. 

One of the best characterization-marks of elementalist biology 
is the expression " nothing but." What is the human brain ? It is 
"nothing but" a vast multitude of ganglionic cells (9,200,000,000 
in the cortex alone), if the answer comes from a cellular elementalist; 
or it is "nothing but" a still greater number of chromosomes, if the 
elementalist be of the consistently orthodox chromosomal persuasion. 

And what are the so-called emotions of the human breast ? In 
last analysis they are " nothing but " chemical substances in unstable 
equilibrium, or in some other state. 

Ernst Mach, that prince of modern elementalists, quotes Litchen- 
berg approvingly as follows : " We should say It thirties, just as we say 
It lightens. It is going too far to say cogito if we translate cogito by 
J think. The assumption, or postulation, of the ego is a mere practical 
necessity." What sort of necessity, if not practical necessity, do these 
people believe in? Seemingly it is theoretical or impractical necessity, 
or both. 

The answer to those who hold such views is obvious: If you want 
to call yourself " It " why, go ahead. But I propose to call myself 
" I " and no power in heaven or on earth can compel me to call my- 
self " It." I may not be able fully to define my " I." Surely I am 
not, for full definition comes at the end and not at the beginning of 
experiential knowledge. But however incomplete my definition be, 
here I am. " The proof of the pudding is the eating." 

Why do the elementalists pin their faith to the invisible constituents 
of things rather than to the things themselves? Can it be that they 



i8 4 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

deliberately deceive themselves as to the place where reality is located ? 
Surely this can not be so. Some misguiding agent or agents there 
must be, and they must be subtle, otherwise they could not succeed 
as well as they do with so many earnest people. 

Let us see if we can detect any of these subtle misleaders. In 
order to walk sure footed, we must remain on the platform of ob- 
jectivity. Let us go back to salt and its elements. If the properties 
of salt are not derived from the sodium and the chlorine, where do they 
come from ? Does something wholly extraneous to the elements while 
they exist apart, come in at the instant of their union that bestows 
upon the salt its peculiar properties? In other words, is there a 
mystical somewhat in chemical affinity? Those of you who know 
anything of the histon r of biological theory will recognize that this 
brings us to the threshold of the vitalistic school. If the completed 
organism does not lie as potency and promise in the germ and its 
natural environment, then where does it abide? If the qualities of 
the organism are not thus derived, then indeed is there something in 
man not derived from nature, just as a time-honored school of philos- 
ophy asserts. But for biology this would be vitalism, and vitalism 
means a walled city with the gates locked and the keys lost beyond 
recovery. 

Have we reached a city surrounded by such a wall? A wonderful 
city indeed we have come to, for in truth is it an eternal city. By 
no means, though, are its gates locked against us. We may enter 
with perfect freedom and wander through its streets and palaces as 
long as we live, even to the latest generations of those who follow us, 
always there to find that which is more interesting, more beautiful, 
more marvelous. 

Being primarily a man of science and only incidentally an artist, 
I am privileged to be a bad artist, so may intepret my metaphor. 

What I mean is, that while we can not see how the properties of 
the salt are potentially in the chlorine and the sodium; and how the 
qualities of the man are potentially in the germ-cells, we still have no 
grounds ior supposing they are not there. If our knowledge of the 
chemical elements and of the germs were full enough, we should see 
how they produce the results which flow from them. Now here is the 
crucial point — if our knowledge were full enough we should see. But 
how full would "full enough" be? So far as the knowledge we now 
have enables us to answer, only unlimited knowledge would be full 
enough. If we are privileged to suppose we shall sometime be pos- 
sessed of infinite knowledge; shall be, in other words, infinite beings, 
then but not till then, shall we understand how chlorine and sodium 
produce common salt, how the germ-cells produce a common man. 4 
4 Readers acquainted with Hume's teachings about the relation of cause and 



LIFE FROM THE BIOLOGISTS STANDPOINT 185 

Nature is through and through infinite in her forms and processes, so 
it seems from the experiential knowledge thus far gained. 

In just what ways science is being driven to the conclusion that 
nature is thus constituted is too long and hard a story to tell here. 
We can only glance at a few of its specially striking features. The 
atomic theory of modern chemistry contains several of these. By 
modern chemistry is meant chemistry since Dalton, Lavoisier and 
Avogadro; and especially since Lorentz and the electron idea came 
into it. 

The special thing about the atomic theory that I call your atten- 
tion to in this connection is the conception of change of valence of 
atoms now being discussed by some of the foremost chemists. Ac- 
cording to this conception, the same atom may have different com- 
bining values under different circumstances. Do you not see without 
further comment what this suggests as to unrevealed potentialities of 
atoms? If the known facts of carbon-chemistry are such as to drive 
the chemist to suppose the atom of carbon changes from bi valency to 
quadrivalency and vice versa, what sober chemist will venture to place 
any limitation on the possibilities for further change of like nature 
not only in this but in other atoms ? 

Since we know absolutely nothing about the relation of the atoms 
in living substance, would it not be a reasonable hypothesis to say that 
the nature of that marvelous process called metabolism is due to just 
the fact that the atoms of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, etc., are 
undergoing perpetual change of valence? I see no reason why we 
may not legitimately imagine even consciousness due to such a process. 

Were such a hypothesis to be seriously taken, it would seem to follow 
that consciousness would have its roots wherever metabolism is going 
on. What an excellent starting point this would make for dealing 
with the perennial puzzle of ,how it is that the " mind influences the 
body " ! The mind would then be part of the body. 6 

Another fruitful idea recently introduced into chemistry, and sig- 
nificant for the present point, is what is known as mass action. The 
essence of this, as my colleague Professor F. W. Cottrell expresses it, 

effect will recognize that at this point I part company with the keen-minded 
Scotchman. It is not necessary, however, to go into the matter here. 

8 Since preparing this essay my attention has been called to the writings of 
Henri Bergson. From what I gather by reading a number of reviews of his 
works and from a glance through his " Matiere et Me*moire," it seems certain 
that many of my positions are close akin to his, though our starting points 
have been so very different. Among other things, this suggestion as to the 
chemical foundation of consciousness would seem to fall in admirably with the 
views held not only by M. Bergson but also by Avenarius, that not the brain 
alone but the whole body is the seat of conscious life. ( See " Subjectivism and 
Realism in Modern Philosophy ," by Norman Smith, The Philosophical Revieio, 
Vol. 17, 1908, p. 138.) 



1 86 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

is that the more opportunity for chemical action the particles of a 
substance have, the more they act; that is, the particles improve their 
opportunity, so to speak. 

See again how pregnant of meaning this is for the potentialities of 
atoms. It means that they have capacities to act that are revealed 
only when conditions for them to act -are presented. This reminds one 
strongly • of the unused energies of men that Professor James has 
recently written about so luminously. 

The one other phase of science to which allusion will be made under 
this head, belongs to the biological realm. It is the conception of the 
"organism as a whole" that for a number of years has been working 
its way into biology by sheer force of its own weight. The facts are 
such as to compel admission even though they are wholly inexplicable 
on the basis of current elementalist doctrines, and so are frequently 
ignored or scouted by biologists of that school. 

An expression which, though extreme, still rightly presents the 
idea comes from the German botanist de Bary. He said " Die Pflanze 
bildet Zellen, nicht die Zelle bildet Pflanzen" (The plant produces 
cells, not the cells produce the plant). This is an over statement but 
is true in so far as it expresses the unescapable fact that the whole 
organism at any given moment, as well as its elements, is concerned 
in determining what it shall be in the next succeeding moment. A 
more exact expression of a particular phase of the idea is due to our 
foremost American student of the cell, Professor E. B. Wilson. He 
writes: " W e can not comprehend the form of cleavage (cell-division) 
without reference do the end-result/' 

Let us look at an instance of the working of this principle in the 
realm of political organization, where it is more openly displayed. 
The original thirteen colonies of our pre-national period, united into 
a compact under what was known as the articles of confederation. A 
corner stone of the union was that each state should keep inviolate its 
original powers and privileges. Under the governmental fiction of 
this compact, the Congress, it has been said, could recommend every- 
thing but could enforce nothing. The experiment was naturally a 
failure. After a period of " Strang und Gang " our nation with the 
federal constitution as its basis was founded. 

Now recall some of the striking things that happened in this 
transition time. First of all, the hitherto individual, sovereign states 
had to give up some of both their powers and their possessions. The 
"western lands" claimed by the states, had been one of the most 
serious obstacles in the way of a closer union. First New York, then 
Virginia, yielded their claims to congress for certain guarantees to 
them in return. The other states followed. Afterward the congress 
erected new states in the territory thus acquired, and the old states 
modified their organic laws to conform to the new conditions. Shall 



LIFE FROM THE BIOLOGISTS STANDPOINT 187 

we say that the new creation, the United States, contained some- 
thing underived from the original states and their conditions? Shall 
we deny that our republic was contained potentially in the thirteen 
original states? Surely not. But the processes of gestation and 
parturition by which the nation came forth profoundly modified the 
elements, the states. Only a wisdom practically infinite could have 
foreseen exactly what those modifications would be. 6 

Growth and organization everywhere in living nature work inward 
as well as outward. The processes turn back upon themselves and 
produce changes in the contributing elements. What the new creation 
will be, what modifications the elements will undergo, one can see 
beforehand partly, but never fully. Only infinite wisdom could see 
altogether. Notice under what conditions one's wisdom would enable 
him to predict the future absolutely. Would not these two conditions 
be essential: That his knowledge of the past should be absolute, and 
that the course of events, that is the laws of nature, should be absolutely 
trustworthy ? 

Observation with our senses, of law-abiding operations, perforated 
by objects cognizable only through their own properties, is one way of 

• The criticism has been made that in using the origin of the United States 
as an illustration of the centripetal action of the developmental process, I am 
resorting to the analogical mode of reasoning, the very thing I have objected 
to in another connection. Attention must be called to the fact that it was not 
the use but the illegitimate use of this method to which objection was made. 
I am not pretending that the reciprocating action as it takes place in either 
the animal body or the nation explains the process in the other. My point is 
that in both cases the developmental process manifests this peculiarity. There 
is a common element in the two developments. That is all I am insisting 
on. But this must be taken in connection with the principle insisted on with 
equal emphasis elsewhere, that each natural object has its own qualities and 
properties. The man and the nation have something in common as to their 
mode of development, but they also have something of difference. To ascertain 
the differences and the trarts-in-oommon all along the line is exactly what the 
business of developmental biology is. 

Those biologists whose creed is that explanation of nature consists in 
reducing her to a few simple principles will make wry faces if nothing worse 
at this. But until such biologists can be more successful than they have been 
so far, in preventing organic chemists from finding new compounds day by 
day, and in suppressing systematic botanists and zoologists who persist in 
hunting up new kinds of plants and animals, and new characteristics and 
varieties of old ones, I see no prospect of these wry faces changing to expres- 
sions of good cheer. 

It may be unfortunate that the living world is so complex, was not con- 
structed on "a few simple principles." But one thing seems well established: 
Nature can not be made simple by treating her on the theory that she ought to 
be so when as a matter of fact she is not. To say that a few principles can be 
found that are common to very wide domains of nature, and to deny that there 
are numberless other principles not so widely prevalent are very different 
propositions. 



188 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

describing our knowledge of nature. But we should fall wofully short 
were we to be satisfied with such an account of it. We can reach the 
kernel of a more adequate account by way of that indispensable aid 
to scientific discovery known as hypothesis-making. 

A few, only a few, men of science have proposed to eliminate 
hypotheses from science altogether. The best known of these elimi- 
nators is Wilhelm Ostwald. In the place of the hypothesis Ostwald 
would install what he calls the protothesis. And what is that? It 
is a " vorlaufige Annahme." There you have it ! A protothesis is a 
taking of something by running on ahead. Ostwald wants to get rid 
of hypotheses altogether and rely wholly on " Arbeit," on work, to make 
conquests in science. But see what his proposal comes to, taking his 
own words. He is going to do part of to-morrow's work to-day, even 
at this veiy instant. The mind forecasts. It outstrips its past and 
present experiences. That is the vital fact, and why quibble about 
how it shall be named ? 

All generalization is hypothesis, says M. Poincare. Think about 
it and you will see the eminent Frenchman is right. Think about it 
further and you will see you can not move ahead in real science one 
inch without generalization. But for it you might possibly have co- 
ordinated experiences which by courtesy might he called knowledge. 
But such knowledge would be wholly without motive, and what rational 
being would care a snap for such knowledge ! 

We must not fail to notice how radically at variance this way of 
interpreting the mind's work is from Kant's way of interpreting it. 
Kantians speak of that which the " mind itself puts into nature." If 
something is really put into nature, that something must have been 
previously outside of nature. You can not put water into a dish that 
is already in the dish. What is that outside something? Where is the 
outside source whence it comes? Ask the unfortunate mortals of 
whom Laura Bridgman was an instance, who are deprived from tender 
infancy of their sense organs, whether they know of some source of 
knowledge wholly outside nature. These cases furnish indubitable 
evidence, so far as they go, that consciousness has no content till sense 
perception gives it some. 

No, the mind does not put something into nature that was pre- 
viously outside it. This however, it does do : It takes something from 
one part of nature and puts it into another part. We must allow that 
ihe mind really does put something into any particular situation that 
-was not in that situation before. But that is quite different from 
allowing that it puts something into nature as a whole that was not 
before somewhere in nature as a whole. This brings us back to our 
standardized, or tested, or relative reality. 

If we ask how or by virtue of what quality or force the mind does 
this running ahead, this transferring of something from one part of 



LIFE FROM THE BIOLOGIST'S STANDPOINT 189 

nature to another, no answer is forthcoming any more than there is 
to the question as to how or by virtue of what quality or force it senses 
at all; or to the question as to how or by virtue of what quality the 
properties of salt are produced by the sodium and the chlorine. It 
may be galling to find that we must accept many things as by fiee 
grace, so to speak ; but this does not alter the fact. 

It is the penalty we pay for belonging to nature at all. If one is 
galled by the fact and so tries to escape it, the course open to him is that 
taken by the oriental occultist who sees the natural order as a clog to the 
nobler but invisible real order and hence as a thing to be got rid of as 
soon as possible. 

At a few places in this discussion it has seemed as though the course 
we were on would drag our physical science back to the primal 
chaos of mere sensations and facts from which it seems to have come. 
In truth, though, now that we can look at the whole situation as from 
a hilltop, how thoroughly familiar, how reassuring, how in accord 
with the best, most fruitful endeavor of all the ages of human history 
it is seen to be. " Nur in der Erfahrung ist Wahrheit " (only in 
experience is truth), said Kant. Modify this to the extent of making 
it say " Ohne Erfahrung ist keine Wahrheit " (without experience is 
no truth), and can any but a sophisticated mind doubt its truthfulness? 

If nature is as true to herself and to man as she seems ; if the body 
of evidence gathered by centuries of laborious science to the effect that 
law and order do prevail throughout the universe; and if the universe 
is as inexhaustible in variety and power as experience indicates, then 
how securely we stand on the truth that struggled to expression in 
Saint Paul's prophetic words : " Faith is the substance of things not 
seen " ! 

There seems to be no question about what experience alone can 
do since there is no such thing so far as we can see. Nor is there any 
question about what faith alone can do since there is no such thing. 
Experience appears to exist because of or through faith, and faith to 
exist because of or through experience. So far as production has 
reference to the fact that something exists now that did not exist 
previously, experience and faith must, it would seem, be said to be 
generative inter se. We have no ground whatever for saying that 
either preceded the other in time. Even the simplest sensation, the 
starting point of experience, can not be conceived in any intelligible 
terminology that does not recognize it as belonging to some organ- 
ism. What sane person would talk of a sensation absolutely inde- 
pendent of an organism? But an organism of the simplest imagin- 
able sort 7 must still have some measure of fidelity, of faithfulness to 

T This remark need not be interpreted to mean that the simplest conceivable 
organisms actually did begin in time. For my part, I am of opinion that biol- 
ogy has reached the point where the suggestions of such cosmically-minded men 



190 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

itself; must have, for example, some measure of persistence or con- 
stancy in time. I am unable to imagine an organism existing but for 
a single instant. 

The moment a living being appeared on earth that could respond 
more than once in the same way to the same stimulus, at that moment 
appeared simultaneously the germs of all human knowledge and faith. 
The moment a human being comes to know that his experiential knowl- 
edge must be incomplete knowledge, from the very conditions of its 
being knowledge at all, at that moment does he touch the highest level 
of knowledge and faith attainable by living beings. Agnosticism, mere 
disclaimer of absolute knowledge, can not be the loftiest attainable 
mental attitude. This must consist in knowing, partly at least, how 
and why your highest knowledge is limited and seemingly must ever 
remain so. 

In conclusion, life from the biologist's standpoint is the sum total 
of the phenomena exhibited by myriads of natural objects called living 
because they present these phenomena. To understand any organism 
it must be studied as a whole and in all its relations. Taking man 
•as a type, his life must be studied throughout the whole cycle of its 
■existence on earth and in its relations to all other lives and things. 
Not only must the germ-cells, the chromosomes and all the rest be 
subjected to investigation as to their forms, vital activities and chemico- 
physical composition, but the whole gamut of his experiences, physical, 
intellectual and spiritual, must be likewise searched out, so far as it is 
possible for human minds to search. 

No biologist can do much by working at the whole of biology thus 
viewed. But — and here is one of the centers of our position — he can 
toil in his particular corner with a mind full-illumined by the recogni- 
tion that someone else must do the things he can not do because all 
must be done. He does not need to suppose the thing he is not doing 
is hardly worth doing. 

of science as Lord Kelvin and Professor Arrhenius, that life like matter and 
force is eternal, must be taken hold of seriously as the best working hypothesis 
that can be made on the basis of the biological data available. This hypothesis 
will surely involve enormous difficulties, but some of the most difficult, one can 
foresee, will at least have the merit of being open to observational inquiry. 
Among the great difficulties will be that by " life " we must understand 
" organisms." We have no observational ground for postulating " organic 
substance " as anything else than the substance of which living beings are 
constituted. 

This being so, the hypothesis would have to face at once the question. How 
numerous must the primal, eternally existent organisms be conceived to have 
been? But I am not adopting the hypothesis, not now, at any rate. I merely 
want to point out what seems a clearly possible alternative for the hypothesis 
of an actual beginning of life in time, which hypothesis seems to be growing less 
and less fruitful with the advance of experiential knowledge. 



JO SI AH WILLARD GIBBS 191 



JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS AND HIS RELATION TO 
MODERN SCIENCE. IV 

By FIELDING H. GARRISON, M.D. 

A8SI8TANT LIBRARIAN, ARMY MEDICAL LIBRARY, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

The third stage of thermodynamics has for its point of departure 
Maxwell's observation that the second law is not a mathematical but 
an empirical or statistical truth, and his prediction that any attempt 
to deduce it from dynamic principles, such as Hamilton's principle, 
without introducing some element of probability, is foredoomed fa 
failure. 127 " We have reason to believe of the second law," says Max- 
well, " that though true, its truth is not of the same order as that of 
the first law," being an empirical generalization from the facts of 
nature in the first instance, while the molecular theory shows it to be 
" of the nature of a strong probability which, though it falls short of 
certainty by less than any assignable quantity, is not an absolute cer- 
tainty." This statement of Maxwell's not only resumes the knowledge 
of his time, but has not been improved upon by later investigators, 
whose work shows that the truth of the second law is. certain to the 
limit of human probability only. The theory of probabilities itself is 
exact as far as human observation goes. In 6,000 throws of dice, a 
particular facet will not necessarily turn up 1,000 times, but the prob- 
ability of its doing so will be more nearly one sixth, the greater the 
number of throws. In the vital statistics of a great city the data of 
births, deaths, illegitimacy, etc., will be more nearly the same from 
week to week, the greater the population of the city; even the intro- 
duction of new dynamic factors, as seasonal change, epidemics, vaccina- 
tion, antitoxin, etc., may alter particular effects but will not change 
the general tendency towards uniformity. Maxwell has observed that 
everything irregular, even the motion of a bit of paper falling to the 
ground, tends, in the long run, to become regular, and this is the 
rationale of testing the second law with respect to gases. In the kinetic 
theory of gases, the first scientific statement of which is due to Clausius, 
we assume a gas to be an assemblage of elastic spheres or molecules, 
flying in straight lines in all directions, with swift haphazard collisions 
and repulsions, like so many billiard balls. These, by Maxwell's cal- 
culations, will, if enclosed and left to themselves, gradually tend to an 
ultimate steady condition of perfectly equalized and permanently dis- 
tributed velocities (i. e., uniform temperature or thermal equilibrium) 
called " Maxwell's state." " This possible form of the final partition of 
m Nature, 1877-8, XVII., 280. 



1 92 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

energies," Maxwell claims, " is also the only form." At this point the 
work of Boltzmann becomes of central importance, especially on account 
of its profound influence on the later works of Gibbs. In Boltzmann's 
application of probabilities to Maxwell's problem, the starting point or 
initial stage of any sequence of events is called a " highly improbable 
one," because its certainty decreases the more the events proceed to 
some final or "most probable" state. For example, the blowing up 
of the Maine is to us a moral or mathematical certainty, but it may 
not be so aeons hence, while its predisposing or exciting causes are even 
now " highly improbable " in that we know nothing positive about them. 
When a gas is brought into a new physical state, its initial stage is, 
in Boltzmann's argument, a highly improbable one from which the 
system of molecules will continually hasten towards successive states 
of greater probability until it finally attains the most probable one, 
or Maxwell's state of equilibrated partition of energy and thermal equi- 
librium. Maxwell's law of final distribution of velocities as determined 
by Boltzmann's probability coefficient is, therefore, a sufficient condi- 
tion for thermal equilibrium, and Boltzmann found that the entropy 
of any state of gas molecules is proportional to the logarithm of the 
probability of its occurrence; or as Larmor puts it, the principle that 
the trend of an isolated system is towards states for which the entropy 
continually increases is analogous to the principle that the general 
trend of a system of molecules is through a succession of states whose 
intrinsic probability of occurrence continually increases. As a measure 
of the degree of variation of the gas molecules from Maxwell's state, 
Boltzmann introduces a function H such that, as the distribution of 
molecular velocities constantly tends toward the most probable dis- 
tribution, H varies with the time and is found to be constantly diminish- 
ing in value. The necessary condition for thermal equilibrium is, 
therefore, that H should irreversibly attain a minimum value. Thus 
Boltzmann's " minimum theorem " becomes, like the Clausius doctrine 
of maximum entropy, a theorem of extreme probability, 128 or to quote 
the aphorism of Gibbs which Boltzmann chose as a motto for his 
Gastheorie: "The impossibility of an uncompensated decrease of 
entropy seems to be reduced to an improbability." 129 Applying similar 
reasoning to the material universe, Boltzmann finds that the following 
assumptions are possible : either the whole universe is in a highly im- 
probable (i. e.„ initial) state, or, as the facts of physical astronomy 
would seem to indicate, the part of it known to us is in a state of 
thermal equilibrium, with certain districts, such as the earth we live 

19 " It can never be proved from the equations of motions alone, that the 
minimum function H must always decrease. It can only be deduced from the 
laws of probability, that if the initial state is not specially arranged for a cer- 
tain purpose, but haphazard governs freely the probability that H decreases is 
always greater than it increases." Boltzmann, Nature, 1894-5, LI., 414. 

,W 7V. Connect. Acad., III., 229. 



JO SI AH WILLARD GIBBS 193 

on, noticeably removed from this condition. The probability of the 
latter state of affairs is smaller, the further such a state is removed from 
thermal equilibrium, but it can be made as great as we please to assume 
the universe to be great. But there is necessary and sufficient prob- 
ability that our earth as we know it is in its present state. By the 
second law (irreversible increase of entropy in natural processes) there 
is still greater probability that it tends to a final state of thermal equi- 
librium or death; and since the universe itself is so great, there is 
sufficient probability that other worlds than ours may deviate from 
thermal equilibrium. As a graphic exposition of this theory, which 
shows the vast scope of the second law of thermodynamics, a curve can 
be plotted with the variables H and the time as coordinates, to visualize 
what takes place in the universe. The // curve is shaped like a suc- 
cession of inverted trees, the summits of which represent " the worlds 
where visible motion and life exist/' 130 Physicists have found that 
the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of velocities is satisfactory for 
gases whose molecules move independently and at random; but when 
the molecules are supposed to be subject to one another's influence, it 
does not account for certain facts of nature such as the measured 
specific heats of gases or individual peculiarities of their spectra. In 
monatomic gases like argon, helium and mercury, the ratio of the 
specific heats will account for the three degrees of molecular freedom 
ascribed to them by the mathematical theory, but in the case of dia- 
tomic gases, like hydrogen or oxygen, the theory calls for six degrees 
of freedom, while experiment will account for only five. Boltzmann 
met these objections with frank or ironical admissions as to the ultimate 
inadequacy of all human hypotheses, 181 and although his theory is to 
some extent invalidated by facts like the above, 182 his subtle handling 
of molecular thermodynamics gives the physicist deeper insight into 

"° " Almost all these trees are extremely low, and have branches very nearly 
horizontal. Here H has nearly the minimum value. Only very few trees are 
higher, and have branches inclined to the axis of abscissa?, and the improbability 
of such a tree increases enormously with its height." Boltzmann, Nature, 
1894-5, LI., 581. 

m « Neither the theory of Gases nor any other physical theory can be quite 
a congruent account of facts, and I can not hope with Mr. Burbury that Mr. 
Bryan will be able to deduce all the phenomena of spectroscopy from the electro- 
magnetic theory of light. Certainly, therefore, Hertz is right when he says: 
' The rigour of science requires that we distinguish well the undraped figure of 
Nature itself from the gay-coloured vesture with which we clothe it at our 
plea8ure. , But I think the predilection for nudity would be carried too far if 
we were to forego every hypothesis. Only we must not demand too much from 
hypotheses." Boltzmann, Ibid., 413. 

118 The principal opponent of the Maxwell-Boltzmann partition of energies 
was Lord Kelvin in his " Nineteenth Century Clouds over the Dynamical Theory 
of Heat and Light." When asked what he had against it, he replied point-blank : 
"I don't think there is a single thing about it that is right" (Science, Jan. 3 r 
1908, p. 6). 



i 9 4 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

such unusual phases of matter as radiation in rarefied gases, where the 
system has no temperature at all, because its internal motions have 
not settled down to a definite average. Helmholtz's dynamic proof of 
the second law assumes the existence of cyclic systems with reversible 
circular motions, like those of the gyroscope or the governor of a 
steam engine, in other words it assumes matter to be made of rotational 
or gyrostatic stresses in the ether. Gibbs's " Elementary Principles of 
Statical Mechanics" (1903) 18S is based upon no assumptions whatever 
except that the systems involved are mechanical, obeying the equations 
of motion of Lagrange and Hamilton. " One is building on insecure 
foundations," he says, "who rests his work on hypotheses concerning 
the constitution of matter," and his statistics deal, not with the behavior 
of gas molecules in isolated systems, but with large averages of vast 
ensembles of systems of the same kind (solid, liquid or gas), " differing 
in the configurations and velocities which they have at any given 
instant, and differing not merely infinitesimally, but it may be so as to 
embrace every conceivable combination of configuration and veloci- 
ties." The problem is, given the distribution of these ensembles in 
phase (i. e., in regard to configuration and velocities) at some one time, 
to find their distribution at any required time. To solve this problem 
Gibbs establishes a fundamental equation of statistical mechanics, which 
gives the rate of change of the systems in regard to distribution in 
phase. A particular case of this equation gives the condition for sta- 
tistical equilibrium or permanent distribution in phase. Integration 
of the equation in the general case gives certain constants relating to 
the extent, density and probability of distribution of the systems in 
phase, which Gibbs interprets as the principles of conservation of 
"extension in phase," of "density in phase," and of "probability in 
phase." Boltzmann found that when the gas molecules have more than 
two degrees of freedom, the equations can not be integrated and further 
progress is impossible. He got around this difficulty by using Jacobi's 
" method of the last multiplier," which integrates the equations of mo- 
tion. Gibbs found that the principle of " conservation of extension-in- 
phase," supplies such a Jacobian multiplier, " if we have the skill or 
good fortune (he says) to .perceive that the multiplier will make the 
first member of the equation an exact differential." Boltzmann's prob- 
ability coefficient is used as the index of the canonical distribution of 
ensembles, and when the exponent of this coefficient is zero, the latter 
becomes unity, producing a distribution in phase called " micro- 
canonical," in which all the systems in the ensemble have the same 
energy, as in Maxwell's " state." After demonstrating the possibility 
of irreversible phenomena in the various ensembles, and after a careful 
study of their behavior when isolated, subjected to external forces or to 

138 "Yale Bicentennial Publications," 1903. Translated into German by 
Ernst Zermelo, Leipzig, 1905. 



JO SI AH WILLARD GIBBS 195 

the spheres of one another's influence, Gibbs finds that the processes of 
statistical mechanics are to all human perception analogous to those of 
thermodynamics, the familiar formulae of which appear, as Bumstead 
puts it, " almost spontaneously, as it seems from the consideration of 
purely mechanical systems.". The differential equation relating to 
average values in the ensemble is found to correspond with the funda- 
mental equation of thermodynamics; the modulus of distribution of 
ensembles turns out to be analogous to the temperature, while the 
average index of probability in phase is the analogue of the entropy 
with reversed sign, and being a minus quantity, is found to decrease 
just as entropy increases. Most of the objections filed against Gibbs's 
statistical demonstration, turn upon the fact that it is difficult, perhaps 
impossible, to apply the reversible dynamics of ideal, frictionless systems 
to the spontaneous irreversible phenomena of nature without making 
some physical assumptions. " Entropy/' Burbury objects, 184 " may, 
for all that appears, either increase or diminish in a system which is 
dynamically reversible. This then can not be strictly applied to an 
irreversible process." Gibbs has met these objections fairly. " Our 
mathematical fictions," 135 he says, to quote Burbury's paraphrase of his 
argument, " give us no information whether the distribution of phases 
is towards uniformity or away from it. Our experience with the real 
world, however, teaches us that it is towards uniformity." All actual 
mechanical systems are, as Gibbs pointed out long before, in reality 
thermodynamic, 136 and it seems odd that the critics who rejected Boltz- 
mann's proof, because it did not agree with the facts of nature, should 
now, for a logical quibble, take exception to Gibbs's because it does. It 
has been predicted that future truth in physical science will often be 
found in the sixth place of decimals, for not everything in nature works 
out according to specifications. We can, if we choose, regard mathe- 
matics as a metaphysical diversion or employ it practically as a means 
of interpreting the physical facts of nature, empirically ascertained by 
man. In these matters, says Gibbs elsewhere, " Nature herself takes 
us by the hand and leads us along by easy steps as a mother teaches 
her child to walk," 137 and he would have agreed with Langley that 
man may put questions to nature if -he -will, but is in no position to 
dictate her answers to them. 138 Nature seems tres femme in this re- 
spect, especially in regard to mathematical fictions, that is, ideal or lim- 
iting cases devised by the finite mind of man. 130 Like any other human 

134 Phil. Mag., 1904, 6. s., VIII., 44. 

'» Ibid., 45. 

lu Tr. Connect. Acad., III., 108. 

™ Proc. Am. Ass. Adv. Sc, 1886, Salem, 1887, XXXV., 62. 

m "Let us read Bacon again, and agree with him that we understand only 
what we have observed." S. P. Langley, Science, 1902, XV., p. 927. 

m " Physical chemistry is not yet a quantitative science; it is a pseudo- 
quantitative science. There are all the outward signs of a quantitative science. 



196 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

instrument of precision, our mathematical methods are but an approxi- 
mation to the subtler aspects of nature, and it is only by eternal vigi- 
lance in regard to sources of human error that workers in physical sci- 
ence have put aside personal equation and infallibility and thus avoided 
what Rowland calls the " discontinuity " of the ordinary legal or culti- 
vated mind. 140 " Gibbs has: not sought to give a mechanical explana- 
tion of heat," says Professor Bumstead, "but has limited his task to 
demonstrating that such an explanation is possible. And this achieve- 
ment forms a fitting culmination of his life's work." 141 

The naturalist Haeckel has explicitly denied the doctrine of uni- 
versal increase of entropy 142 because, pointing as it does to the ultimate 
thermal death of different worlds, it conflicts with his monistic con- 
ception of the universe as a perpetuum mobile, consisting of infinite 
substance in eternal motion, without beginning and without end. Yet 
the cosmogony of Kant and Laplace, which Haeckel accepts, points to 
the same conclusion as well as to formative periods in the history of 
the solar and sidereal systems, in which entropy decreases, and energy, 
instead of dissipating; tends, after a maxitfvum of degradation, to con- 
centrate. Even possibilities of this kind put the second law on a lower 
plane of probability than the first as far as man is concerned, unless it 
be that the irreversible processes of nature are in reality cyclic, in which 
case we should have Nietzsche's " eternal return " of all things. But 
as Bumstead has so admirably said, " It is nearer the truth to base the 
doctrine of entropy upon the finite character of our perceptions than 
upon infinity of time." 

In connection with the validity of the second law arises the impor- 
tant question of the extent of its application to animate nature and 
whether it is capable of reversal in vital processes. " The first law 
(conservation of energy) has been proven," says Otwald, " with an 
exactness of 1 : 1,000 even for physiological combustion (including 
mechanical and psychical work performed)." The second law, whether 
in the Clausius form of increase of entropy, the Kelvin form of dissi- 

We have formulas and tables; we make use of thermodynamics and the differ- 
ential calculus; but this is for the most part a vain show. Long before we 
reach the point where the formula is to be tested experimentally we slip in a 
simplifying assumption: that the concentration of one component may be 
considered as a constant; that the heat of dilution is zero; that the solute 
may be treated in all cases as though it. were an indifferent gas; that the 
concentration of the dissociated portion of a salt may be substituted for the 
total concentration; etc., etc. The result is that our calculations apply at 
best only to limiting or ideal cases, where an error in deducing the formula 
may be masked by errors in observation. Helmholtz did not do this, but 
ITelmholtz is considered old-fashioned." W. D. Bancroft, ./. Phys. Chem. y 1899, 
III., 604. 

140 H. A. Rowland, Am. J. 8c. t 1899, 4. s.. VIII., 409. 

141 Bumstead, Am. J. 8c, 1903, 4. s M XLI., 199. 

m Haeckel, "The Riddle of The Universe," New York, 1900, 24G-248. 



JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS 197 

pation of available energy, or the Gibbs-Helmholtz form of decrease 
of free energy, is assumed by recent physiologists to be characteristic 
of all spontaneous or metabolic processes, but both Helmholtz 143 and 
Kelvin 144 have doubted whether it is either necessary or sufficient for 
their production, while Maxwell 145 and Boltzmann 146 have asserted, 
what Gibbs's statistical researches seem to prove, that it is sometimes 
possible for entropy to decrease, that is for small isolated temporary 
violations of the second law to occur in any real body. Has animal 
or vegetable protoplasm ever the power ascribed to Maxwell's demon of 
reversing the thermodynamic order of nature, and directing physico- 
chemical forces? Such a demon, according to Lord Kelvin, might, 
through his superior intelligence or motor activity, render one half of 
a bar of metal glowing hot, while the other half remained icy cold. 
We have something analogous to this in certain diseases, as gangrene, 
aphasia, various forms of paralysis, the curious vasomotor and trophic 
disorders of the nervous system. Are these phenomena then of a 
thermodynamic nature? The animal body, Lord Kelvin thought, does 
not act like a thermodynamic engine, but " in a manner more nearly 
analogous to that of an electric motor working in virtue of energy 
supplied to it by a voltaic battery/' Here, as Gibbs has shown in his 
theory of the chemical cells, the electromotive force would be identical 
with the free energy upon which the surface energies of the body must 
ultimately depend. Beyond these speculations we know nothing. 
Gibbs himself avowed his express disinclination to "explain the mys- 
teries of nature," while Lord Kelvin, although affirming that physicists 
are bound "by the everlasting law of honor," to explain everything 
material upon physical principles, mystified friends and opponents 
alike by falling back upon a " vital principle " with " creative power " 
behind it as the causa causans of biological happenings. But the busi- 
ness of physics is with the material facts of the universe, and the invo- 
cation of creative power explains nothing and is subversive of deter- 
minism, or the relation of cause and effect in science. It may be that 
" man was born too late to ascertain final causes " : he can only inter- 
pret the physical facts of his experience as he finds them and with the 
means at his disposal. An interesting attempt to explain the relation 
of life and mind to matter is found in the energetische Weltanschauung 

,ia Helmholtz, J. f. Math., v. 100, 137. Auerback, " Kanon der Physrik.," 
414. 

m Kelvin, "Pop. Lect.," II., 190, 463, 404. See, also, the discussion in 
Science, 1903, N. S., XVIII., 138-146. 

"• Maxwell, Nature, 1877-8, XVII., 280. 

"* Der grosse Meister, dem auch diese Zeilen huldigen mochten, hat einst 
den Gedanken ausgesprochen, dass es in der Welt vielleicht Stellen giebt, wo die 
Entropie nicht wHchst, sondern zunimmt," O. Chwolson. Boltzmann, 
" Festschr.," 1904, 33. 



198 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

or energetic philosophy of Ostwald, which confessedly derives 147 from 
the thermodynamic argument of Gibbs, but should not be confused 
with the latter. Gibbs was concerned only with applying the laws of 
mechanics to physical chemistry. Compared with the case of nature, 
he says, thermodynamic systems are "of an ideal simplicity." To 
Ostwald, however, mind and matter are but forms of energy, which is 
the only thing eternal and immortal. " We can deal with measurable 
things, never with the unknown heart of nature/' says Ostwald, yet his 
basic principle, energy, is to all intents and purposes identical with 
the eternal infinite substance of Spinoza, Goethe and Haeckel, " sive 
Deus, sive Natura naturans, sive Anima mundi appelletur." Matter, 
in Ostwald's scheme, is a group of energies in space; thought becomes 
a mode of energy involving evolution of heat, and " the problem of 
the connection between body and spirit belongs to the same series as 
the connection between chemical and electrical energy, which is treated 
in the theoiy of voltaic chains." 148 Falling in love, listening to a 
Beethoven symphony, identifying oneself with nature, are to Ostwald 
instances of dissipation of energy like any other. 149 Philosophy of this 
kind does not clear up the mystery of the relation of mind and matter. 
Descartes assumed that mind and matter exist apart as parallels, hav- 
ing no causal connection with each other. Spinoza held that neither 
can exist apart; indeed, he sometimes asserts their practical identity 
as different modes of the same eternal substance. But however inti- 
mately they may be associated, no scientist or philosopher has yet 
proven, whether .in the body of man or in the origin of the universe, 
that one is either the cause or the effect of the other. 

Assuming matter in mass to be ultimately made up of rotational, 
vortical or gyrostatic stresses or of energies, whether kinetic or poten- 
tial, we encounter the formidable objection of Boltzmann, that it seems 
illogical, not to say unmechanical, to postulate motion as the primary 
idea with the moving thing as the derived one. Motion of what? we 
have a right to ask, since Ostwald disdains the ether of the physicists. 150 
Matter, in the words of Sir Oliver Lodge, may be physically resolved 

i«r it YVi r wollen daher den Versuch wagen, eine Weltansicht ohne die 
Benutzung des Begriffs der Materie ausschliesslich aus energetischem Material 
aufzubauen ... In der ftir die neuere Chemie grundlegenden Abhandlung von. 
Willard Gibbs ist sogar dies Postulat praktisch in weitestem Umfange durch- 
gefiihrt worden, allerdings ohne dass es ausdriicklich aufgestellt worden ware." 
W. Ostwald, " Vorles. tiber Naturphilosophie," 165. 

u *Monist, 1907. 

148 W. Ostwald, "Individuality and Im mortality," 44-46. 

wo tt what the atom of each element is, whether it is a movement or a thing, 
or a vortex, or a point having inertia, all these questions are surrounded by 
profound darkness. I dare not use any less pedantic word than entity to 
designate the ether, for it would be an exaggeration of our knowledge to speak 
of it as a body, or even a substance," Lord Salisbury, " Rep. Brit. Ass. Adv. 
Sc," 1894, 8. * 



JO SI AH WILLARD GIBBS 199 

"perhaps, into electricity, and that into some hitherto unimagined 
mode of motion of the ether," but no dynamic theory of the ether can 
resolve the ether into nothing. Assuming thought to be a mode of 
energy, the metaphysical argument that mind is at the bottom of 
motion seems more likely, in the last analysis, than that motion should 
be the cause of mind, for we can not conceive of a thing moving unless 
something moves it. Mind seems almost like an assemblage or com- 
plex of causes in itself, and is probably related to the brain as music 
to the violin. Destroy the violin and there will be an end of its music, 
but it needs other coefficients than the violin itself to get music out 
of it. Ostwald has himself admitted the force of Leibnitz's argument, 
that no mechanical explanation of cerebral action will ever account for 
the genesis of thought or the nature of consciousness : " Nihil in intel- 
lectu quod non prius in sensu, nisi intellectus ipse." Individual think- 
ing may be the result of physico-chemical differences of structure or 
substance in the brain, but apart from the evidence of mind in the 
evolution and structure of the universe, different aspects of mind, as 
ideas, sensations and sentiments, seem to have an individual life of 
their own so far as man is concerned, and are " things " in the sense 
that, like external forces, they have profoundly influenced and deter- 
mined the actions of individuals and of entire races. Human thought 
as a function of the human brain may disappear with man himself, but 
this does not annul the possibility of mind existing in manifold ways 
elsewhere in the universe. The electric waves of wireless telegraphy 
undoubtedly existed as motions in the air before man discovered and 
labeled them and may continue to exist and be apprehended in other 
spheres of thought when man is gone. 

Man's capacity for error in these matters is determined by his 
anthropomorphic tendencies and by the fact that his intelligence is 
finite. Of the possibly infinite number of attributes of eternal sub- 
stance postulated by Spinoza, the human mind can apprehend only two 
— thought and extension, and even here thought and sensation are the 
fundamental facts, while "all else is an inference and is probably 
essentially unlike what it appears to our senses." It seems impossible 
to break down the fact that there is no absolute causal connection 
between the two primary categories of Spinoza, who has anticipated 
most of modern psychology. For this reason such subjects as spirit- 
ualism, phrenology, faith-healing, telepathy have remained in the 
limbo of pseudo-science, although each has undoubtedly a shadowy 
reason for existence. It is as fair as any other hypothesis, then, to 
assume that man, in his higher mental or psychical activities, may, 
under certain conditions, be " freed from the galling yoke of space and 
time," or, in other words, released from the thraldom of the second 
law. Yet such an assumption, even if made by a Kelvin, would be, in 
our present state of knowledge, an expression of individual personal 



2oo THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

belief, a literary or humane analogy, a leaning in the direction of the 
" fair humanities of old religion/' but not a scientific fact. To fix our 
ideas for the material world we may accept the expanded statement of 
the second law which Ostwald gave in his Ingersoll lecture in 1906 : lB1 
i( Every known physical fact leads to the conclusion that diffusion or 
a homogeneous distribution of energy is the general aim of all happen- 
ings. ... A partial concentration may be brought in a system, but 
only at the expense of greater dissipation, and the sum total is always 
an increase in dissipation." 152 Through the labors of Joule and Kel- 
vin, Maxwell and Boltzmann, Gibbs and Helmholtz, Carnot's simple 
generalization about heat engines has been elevated to the dignity of 
an irrevocable law of nature, a principle of scientific determinism, 
giving one of the most complete and satisfactory answers that man can 
furnish to the great question: How does any event in the material 
universe come to pass? In Darwin's picture of nature the quiet woods 
and waters, so calm and peaceful on the surface, are in reality centers 
of " strange and cruel life," the struggle and turmoil of creatures con- 
tinually preying upon each other, even trees and plants and the tiniest 
particles of animate bodies taking part in a definite, never-ending war 
for existence. But the stern law of life, whereby the strong war down 
the weak, loses all moral, or human significance when seen as due, in 
the last analysis, to an inevitable tendency to dissipation of energy or 
as the resultant of a play of complex forces, which, through some prin- 
ciple of " least action," must inexorably flow from higher to lower 
potentials. As Spinoza pointed out long ago, Nature could 'not change 
these laws which flow from its very being, without ceasing to be itself, 
and the conclusion of physics and biology that Nature is never on the 
side of the weak becomes, as far as man is related to the material uni- 
verse, identical with Spinoza's denial of final causes. 

Apart from his work in mathematical physics, Gibbs made several 
important contributions to pure mathematics, notably in his theory of 
" dyadics," a variety of the multiple or matricular algebras which Ben- 
jamin Peirce classified as " linear associative." The tendency of his 
mind was always toward broad, general views and the simplifications 
that go with such an outlook, and here mention should be made of his 
charming address on multiple algebra and his innovation of vector 
analysis, a calculus designed to give the student of physics a clearer 

151 W. Ostwald, " Individuality and Immortality," Boston, 1906, 42. 

152 As a fundamental formula for all material happenings, analogous to the 
" world-formula " of Laplace, J G. Vogt proposes the following (Polit. Anthrop. 
Rev., Leipzig, 1907-8, VI., 573) : If Pe represent the positive or dissipation^ 
potential {emissives Potential) and Pr the negative or concentrational potential 
(rezeptive8 Potential) of any given set of forces, then Pe -f- Pr = or 

f d Pe + / dPr = 0. This is, however, only another restatement of 
Newton's Third Law of Motion, that action and reaction are equal and in 
opposite directions. 



JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS 201 

insight into such space relations as strains, twists, spins and rotational 
or irrotational movements in general. Maxwell, who once declared that 
he had been striving all his life to be freed from the yoke of the Carte- 
sian coordinates, had already found such an instrument in the Hamil- 
tonian quaternions, the application of which he brilliantly demon- 
strated in his great treatise on electricity and magnetism. Quater- 
nions are elegant, consistent, concise and uniquely adapted to Euclidean 
space, but physicists have latterly found them artificial and unnatural 
to their science, because the square of the quaternionic vector becomes 
a negative quantity. 153 The Gibbsian vectors obviate this difficulty, 
and while seemingly uncouth, furnish' a mode of attack more simple 
and direct and adaptable to space of any dimensions. Their capacity 
for interpreting space relations was amply tested by Gibbs in his five 
papers on the electromagnetic theory of light and his application of 
vectors to the calculation of orbits, since incorporated in recent German 
treatises on astronomy. The fact that vectors tend to displace the 
quaternionic analysis of Sir William Rowan Hamilton involved our 
author in a lengthy controversy with Hamilton's best interpreter, the 
ingenious and versatile Tait, 154 who looked upon Gibbs as " one of the 
retarders of quaternionic progress," defining his system as " a sort of 
hermaphrodite monster compounded of the notations of Hamilton and 
Grassmann." But Gibbs did not regard his method as strictly orig- 
inal ; he was only concerned with its application in the task of teaching 
students ; and when, after testing it by twenty years' experience in the 
class-room, he reluctantly consented to the publication of his lectures 
in full, the task was confided to one of his pupils, our author declining, 
with a characteristic touch of conscience, to have the work appear under 
his name or even to read the proof. In the controversy with Tait there 
is, as in most controversies, an amusing element of human nature. 
The name of Hamilton is undoubtedly one of the most illustrious in 
the history of science, and Tait and his adherents seemed to regard it 
as an impertinence and a desecration of his memory that any other 

158 " I have the highest admiration for the notion of a quaternion; but . . . 
as I consider the full moon far more beautiful than any moonlit view, so I 
regard the notion of a quaternion as far more beautiful than any of its appli- 
cations. ... I compare a quaternion formula to a pocket-map — a capital thing 
to put in one's pocket, but which for use must be unfolded: The formula, to 
be understood, must be translated into coordinates," Arthur Cayley, Proc. Roy. 
80c. Edinb., 1892-5, XX., 271. At the Southport meeting of the British Asso- 
ciation in 1903, Professor Larmor, while admitting the extreme usefulness of 
the different methods of vector analysis, argued that their slow progress in 
physics was due to the lack of uniformity in definitions and notations, requir- 
ing that each system must be mastered separately before it can be applied. 
To which Professor Boltzmann not inaptly replied that the confusion might 
have been avoided, if Hamilton had adopted the notations of Grassmann in the 
first instance. • 

1U Nature, 1891-3, passim. 



202 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

system than quaternions should be proposed. "The ideas which 
flashed into the mind of Hamilton at the classic Brougham Bridge " 
became the occasion of a joined battle between the perfervid clan- 
loyalty of the Celt and the cool individualism of the Saxon ; on one side, 

" The broad Scots tongue that flatters, scolds defies, 
The thick Scots wit that fells you like a mace," 

and on the other, the overconscientious, ethical arguments of a super- 
sensitive spirit, obviously nettled at certain rough pleasantries which 
were understood but not appreciated. In 1893 Heaviside, an English 
vectorist, reports " confusion in the quaternion ic citadel : alarms and 
excursions and hurling of stones and pouring of water upon the invad- 
ing hosts." 155 The vectorists were denounced as a " clique " and ridi- 
culed especially for their lack of elegance, their alleged intellectual 
dishonesty and the fact that their pupils were " spoon-fed " upon 
mathematico-physical pap. But some of the notations held up to ridi- 
cule turned out to be things like Poisson's theorem or the difficult 
hydrodynamic problem "given the spin in a case of liquid motion to 
find the motion," which Helmholtz solved with one of his strokes of 
genius, and which Gibbs showed could be understood and interpreted 
by the average student without genius by a simple application of vecto- 
rial methods. The real point at issue in the controversy, the funda- 
mental difference in the ideals of European and American education, 
lies here. Both have their relative advantages and defects, but the 
object of one has been to bring the best to the highest development, 
while the other is concerned with increasing the efficiency of the aver- 
age man. One has been exclusive, aiming at the survival of the fittest; 
the other is democratic and inclusive, and aims, in Huxley's words, to 
make the greatest number fit to survive. The merits of the case are 
well summed up in Gibbs's final statement: "The notions which we 
use in vector analysis are those which he who reads between the lines 
will meet on every page of the greatest masters of analysis, or of those 
who have probed deepest the secrets of nature, the only diffrence being 
that the vector analyst, having regard for the weakness of the human 
intellect, does as the early painters who wrote beneath their pictures 
* This is a tree/ 'This is a horse/ " 15C This view is in perfect accord 
with the recent trend of mathematical teaching, European or Amer- 
ican, which is to emphasize the meaning and interpretation of equa- 
tions and formulae rather than their demonstrations or manipulation; 
in short, to substitute visualizing methods, the art of thinking straight 
and seeing clear, for what is conventional and scholastic. A Harvard 
professor is said to have told his students that the demonstration of a 
theorem is no evidence that it is understood, but the intelligent use of 
it is; and the object of such teaching as Gibbs's was to enable the 

,M Ibid., 1892-3, XLVII., 534. 
,M /&trf., 464. 



JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS 203 

student to see physical phenomena with the " clarity of vision " which 
Tait himaelf thought characteristic of the truly mathematical mind, and 
of which a good criterion is afforded in Helmholtz's unforgetable state- 
ment about Michael Faraday: "With wonderful sagacity and intel- 
lectual precision, Faraday performed on his brain the work of a great 
mathematician without using a single mathematical formula/' 157 

At Yale Gibbs was esteemed an ideal teacher of physics, cordial, 
quick, helpful, willing to devote unlimited time to assist plodders and 
giving his students ample opportunity to learn " what may be regarded 
as known, what is guessed at, what a proof is and how far it goes." 
Of the qualities that make for distinction of mind and character he 
had the impersonal gift, "le don d'etre n6 essentiellement imper- 
sonnel," which Renan thought highest of all, and which, fortunately 
for the advance of real knowledge, has been characteristic of most of 
the great leaders of science. He could build no wall of personal ego- 
tism between himself and the external facts, and " few could come in 
contact with this serene and impartial mind without feeling profoundly 
its influence in all his future studies of nature." 158 We know little of 
his life beyond the fact that he was a man of stoic fiber, who lived and 
worked alone. The countenance in the portraits expresses the Puritan 
austerity with lines that tell of mental stress and struggles with illness, 
but the man himself was " unassuming in manner, genial and kindly 
in his intercourse with his fellow men." " In the minds of those who 
knew him," concludes his biographer, " the greatness of his intellectual 
achievements will never overshadow the beauty and dignity of his 
life." 159 

American contributions to physics, from Franklin to Michelson, 
have been characterized by originality of invention and experiment. 
The work of Gibbs has a place apart as that of a mathematical theorist 
whose ideas have found wide application in the main current of modern 
thought, and his true position is best described in his own often-quoted 
•estimate of his great predecessor, Clausius. " Such work as that of 
Clausius," he says, " is not measured by counting titles or pages. His 
true monument lies not on the shelves of libraries, but in the thoughts 
of men and the history of more than one science." 160 The general 
scientific reputation of Gibbs is of this kind, while in his chosen field 
of activity, the austere region of physics in which Newton and La- 
grange, Hamilton and Jacobi are the leaders, his is assuredly the most 
•distinguished American name. 

^Helmholtz, Faraday Lecture, 1881. 

,M Bumstead, Am. J. Sc., 1903, 4. s., XLL, 201. 

"• Bumstead, loc. cit. 

M Gibbs, Proc. Am. Acad. Arts and Sc, 1889, N. S., XVI., 465. 



204 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE PROGEESS OF SCIENCE 



THE DEATH OF SIMON NEWCOMB 
We have not had in America a great 
period of scientific productivity such 
as formed part of the Victorian era in 
Great Britain or followed the renais- 
sance of the universities in Germany. 
Perhaps only in one science have we 
been in the position of leaders. In 
astronomy, thanks it may be to the 
endowment of observatories where re- 
search was not crowded by elementary 
teaching, we have done our share, or 
more than our share, for the advance- 
ment of science. Our great astronomer, 
who gave distinction to science in 
America, is now dead, and we mourn 
the loss of one whose place can not be 
filled. 

Simon Newcomb was born on March 
12, 1Q35, in a village of Nova Scotia, 
but was of New England descent from 
five generations of Simon Newcombs, as 
well as on the side of his mother. In 
his " Reminiscences of an Astronomer," 
published six years ago, there is an 
interesting account of his early life. 
His father was a school teacher who 
moved from village to village in ac- 
cordance with the custom of the time. 
The child was apt at figures and had 
done arithmetic through cube root at 
the age of six and a half. He read 
with avidity the few books that came 
within reach, especially those concerned 
with science, but had no regular school- 
ing or education in the ordinary sense. 
At the age of fourteen he was appren- 
ticed as a boy of all work to an ir- 
regular practitioner in the hope that 
he might pick up some knowledge of 
medicine. This result not following, 
he ran away, worked his passage to 
Massachusetts in a sailing boat and 
found himself teaching in a country 
school in Maryland at the age of eight- 
een. A couple of years later, he became 



acquainted with Secretary Henry of 
the Smithsonian Institution, it may be 
through borrowing from the institution 
a copy of Laplace's " Mechanique Cel- 
este," a knowledge of which he regarded 
as necessary for a computer. Such a 
position he soon afterwards obtained 
on the " Nautical Almanac," then con- 
ducted at Cambridge. He was at the 
same time able to enter Harvard Uni- 
versity, where he studied under Pro- 
fessor Peirce and read in earnest the 
works of Laplace and La Grange. 

Henceforth Newcomb's scientific ca- 
reer is a long record of sound and 
brilliant achievement. Beginning with 
work on the orbits of the asteroids he 
extended it to Uranus and Neptune 
and to other planets and to the moon. 
The mathematical genius required for 
work of this kind is of the highest 
type; many would regard Laplace as 
the greatest intellect that the world 
has produced, and in America he has 
had worthy successors in Newcomb and 
in Hill. 

In 1861 Newcomb was appointed pro- 
fessor of mathematics in the navy, and 
in 1877 superintendent of the Nautical 
Almanac Office, a position which he 
held till he was relieved in 1897 at 
the age limit with the relative rank 
of rear-admiral. An appropriation to 
enable him to continue his worK was 
made by the congress and later it was 
carried forward under the auspices of 
the Carnegie Institution to be ended 
only with his death. He declined the 
directorship of the Harvard Observa- 
tory, but accepted a professorship in 
the Johns Hopkins University in con- 
1 junction with his work at Washington. 

In addition to his great work in 

celestial mechanics, Newcomb performed 

important services for astronomy and 

, for science in many directions. One of 




wurn 



^Aws-c^hov' 



206 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



these was in administration, and the 
national government owes much to his 
skill and wisdom. Another is in his 
numerous popular works and text- 
books. He was a master of clear think- 
ing and good English — witness, for 
example, the series of papers on '* The 
Stars," published in this journal in 
1900. He was also the author of 
standard works on political economy 
and of a great number of articles, 
addresses and papers dealing with the 
problems of science over a very wide 
range. 

It is needless to tell here of the hon- 
ors conferred upon Newcomb. He was 
elected president of the American Asso- 
ciation for the Advancement of Science 
at an early age. Honorary degrees and 
honorary membership in academies 
were heaped upon him. To be one of 
the eight foreign associates of the 
Paris Academy of Sciences is perhaps 
the highest recognition that can be 
given in the scientific world. It had 
not been awarded to an American since 
Franklin. 

THE DARWIN COMMEMORATION 
AT CAMBRIDGE 

The centenary of the birth of Charles 
Darwin coinciding with the fiftieth 



! anniversary of the publication of " The 
Origin of Species," has been adequately 
celebrated in the United States, as re- 
! counted in the April issue of this 
journal, which was itself a Darwin 
memorial number. It is, however, fit- 
ting that the principal commemoration 
should be held in Great Britain and at 
the University of Cambridge. Darwin, 
, it is true, held no academic position 
, and was not greatly influenced by his 
; work as an undergraduate at Cam- 
bridge. He said later that his " time 
was wasted as far as his academic 
studies were concerned " ; but he could 
also say : " the three years I spent at 
Cambridge were the most joyful of my 
happy life." The part often played by 
a college in the future life of a student 
through the friends and associations 
there formed is well illustrated in the 
case of Darwin. He became interested 
in collecting beetles through his cousin, 
W. Darwin Fox, also a student of 
Christ's College, and through Henslow, 
the eminent botanist, and it was 
through the latter that he was led to 
undertake the voyage on the Beagle. 
This was Darwin's true university 
course, and it is difficult to imagine 
just what he would have done in the 
world had it not been for the circum- 



The Second Court of Christ's College, in which were the rooms of Chailes Darwin. 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



207 



stances, which may be regarded as acci- 
dental, leading to this voyage. When 
we remember that his contemporaries, 
Huxley, Wallace and Hooker, were also 
led to their scientific work by a voy- 
age of exploration, we must regard it 
as more than a mere incident in their 
lives. 

It is truly remarkable that Christ's 
College, smaller than the average of 
our six hundred colleges and with no 
higher standards as far as the require- 
ments of the curriculum go, can cele- 
brate the tercentenary of the birth of 
Milton as well as the centenary of the 
birth of Darwin; that Tennyson and 
Darwin should have been fellow stu- 
dents, and that Newton, perhaps Dar- 
win's only rival for scientific preem- 
inence, should have been a member of 
the same university. Darwin's grand- 
father, Erasmus, was also a Cambridge 
student, and three of his sons are inti- 
mately connected with the university. 
Cambridge may well be proud of its 
great men and England of its great 
university; and this feeling we may 
share, remembering the descent of our 
academic institutions from the new 
Cambridge in New England. 

An English university is certainly 
the place where a ceremonial such as 
the Darwin centenary has the most fit 
setting. To it came delegates from all 
parts of the world, some 230 in num- 
ber, leaders in all departments of sci- 
ence and especially in the biological 
and evolutionary sciences. Lord Ray- 
leigh, formerly professor of physics and 
now chancellor of the university, wel- 
comed the guests to the Fitzwilliam 
Museum on the evening of June 22. 
On the 'following day, there was a pres- 
entation of addresses by the delegates 
in the Senate House. After the address 
of the chancellor speeches were made 
by Professor Oscar Hertwig, of Berlin; 
Professor Elie" Metchnikoff, of Paris; 
Dr. Henry F. Osborn, of New York, 
and Sir E. Ray Lankester, of London. 
In concluding his remarks Dr. Osborn 
said that they, the delegates, natural- 
ists and friends, desired to present to 



I Christ's College, as a memorial of their 

j visit, a portrait of Charles Darwin in 

bronze, the work of their countryman, 

1 William Couper, " a portrait which 

they trusted would convey to this and 

■ future generations of Cambridge stu- 

I dents, some impression of the rugged 

j simplicity as well as of the intellectual 

I grandeur of the man they revered and 

honored." 

i On Wednesday evening the delegates 
j and guests were entertained at a ban- 
quet held in the New Examination 
Hall, which was used for the first time 
for a public purpose. Among the 
speakers were the Right Hon. A. J. 
Balfour, Dr. Svante Arrhenius, Pro- 
fessor E. B. Poulton and Mr. William 
Erasmus Darwin, eldest son of Charles 
Darwin. On Thursday, the Rede lec- 
ture was given by Sir Archibald Geikie, 
president of the Royal Society, and 
honorary degrees were conferred on a 
number of delegates, including from 
America Professor Jacques Loeb, of 
the University of California; Secretary 
Charles D. Walcott, of the Smithsonian 
1 Institution and Professor Edmund B. 
! Wilson, of Columbia University. Dur- 

! ing the celebration there was an exhi- 
I 

bition held in Christ's College of pic- 
tures, books, manuscripts and other 
' objects connected with Darwin, in- 
I eluding the portraits by Richmand, 
I Collier and Ouless, and the bronze bust 
! by William Couper, of New York, 
I which the American delegates pre- 
sented to Christ's College. 

THE WINNIPEG MEETING OF THE 
BRITISH ASSOCIATION 

] The British Association for the Ad- 

I vaneement of Science takes seriously its 
imperial functions. Four years ago it 

i migrated to South Africa, and now. for 
the third time, it is about to hold a 
Canadian meeting and in the very cen- 
ter of the great dominion. The British 
Association has maintained its useful- 
ness and prestige along the lines in 
which it was originally established. 
It is a great factor in the diffusion as 

i well as in the advancement of science. 



208 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Its meetings are attended by the lead- 
ing professional men of science and at 
the same time by large numbers of 
amateurs. The local members at each 
meeting are likely to exceed a thou- 
sand, and excellent arrangements are 
made for their instruction and enter- 
tainment. The social features are em- 
phasized, so that there is opportunity 
for forming personal acquaintances and 
for those who are only interested in 
science to meet those most actively 
engaged in its advancement. 

The Winnipeg meeting, which opens 
on August 25, will be presided over by 
the eminent Cambridge physicist, Pro- 
fessor J. J. Thomson, who succeeds Mr. 
Francis Darwin. Addresses of general 
interest will be given by the president 
and the presidents of the sections, and 
by Professor Herdman, Professor Tut- 
ton, Professor Dixon, Professor Poyn- 
ting and others, and the sectional meet- 
ings are certain to have attractive pro- 
grams. There will also be the usual 
extensive arrangements for garden par- 
ties, receptions and excursions. A visit 
to the Pacific coast, including Alaska 
and the Seattle Exposition, should be 
of unusual interest. 

The Canadian railways offer a single 
fare, so the return trip from Montreal 
or Quebec to Winnipeg costs only 
thirty-six dollars, ^he council of the 
British Association has courteously 
voted to admit all members of the 
American Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science to membership for the 
meeting, waiving the entrance fee, and 
the American Association will hold no 
meeting this summer. A large number 
of Americans will doubtless take ad- 
vantage of the generous invitation of 
their British colleagues and attend the 



Winnipeg meeting. It is a rare privi- 
lege that should be taken advantage of 
by all who find it possible. 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS 
We record with regret the death of 
i Professor J. D. Cunningham, the an- 
( atomist of the University of Edinburgh, 
1 and of Dr. M. A. Brezina, the mineralo- 
gist of Vienna. 

Among the honors awarded on the 
birthday of King Edward are knight- 
hoods to Mr. Francis Galton, Professor 
J. Larmor, Mr. R. H. I. Palgrave and 
Professor T. E. Thorpe.— Mr. Orville 
Wright and Mr. Wilbur Wright were 
presented on June 19 with the gold 
medal authorized by congress, a medal 
on behalf of the state of Ohio and a 
medal on behalf of the city of Dayton. 
Dr. W 7 illiam H. Welch, professor of 
pathology in the Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity, has been elected president of 
the American Medical Association. — 
Professor E. W. Morley has been elect- 
ed honorary president and Dr. W. H. 
Nichols acting president of the Seventh 
International Congress of Applied 
Chemistry, which has accepted the in- 
vitation extended by the congress 
through the president and the secre- 
tary of state, to meet in this country 
in 1912. 

Mr. John D. Rockefeller has made 
a further gift of $10,000,000 to the 
(Jeneral Education Board. Its endow- 
ment is now $53,000,000. Mr. Rocke- 
feller has authorized the board to dis- 
tribute the principal as well as the 
income for educational purposes, should 
this at any future time appear to be 
advisable. 



THE 

POPULAR SCIENCE 

MONTHLY. 



SEPTEMBER, 1909 



CAPACITY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR POPULATION 

By Pbofessob ALBERT FERRY BRIGHAM 

COLGATE UNITSBSITT 

IF any reader of these pages thinks, with a recent writer, that " pop- 
ulation is a vast and wandering theme," we shall have no quarrel 
with him. No doubt the problem has a keener interest in such a 
country as Great Britain or France, where population approaches ca- 
pacity or is perhaps beyond the permanent limit of resources. But we 
are maturing, the frontier stage is past, our land is filling and fertile 
quarter sections are no more free. We have thus our own social prob- 
lems, sharpening their quest for solution, and, moreover, being Amer- 
icans, we now and then become enthusiastic and break into prophecy. 

We may well sober our inquiry with the preliminary question — is a 
great population desirable? Not so, surely, for us, from the military 
point of view. We have men enough to send to the front and men 
enough to keep in the shop and field, to meet any emergency of war 
which lies within the horizon of reasonable conjecture. Perhaps, in 
view of our general influence in the world, we might be glad to have 
several hundred millions of people, but only if we are so conditioned 
that our influence would be a boon to other lands. This indeed in itself 
implies a limit, for we must not be too many to live with freedom and 
with worthy standards. 

We may take ourselves out of the ranks of the enthusiast with a 
second preliminary question — is a great population probable ? Our list 
of prophets is distinguished. Mr. 0. P. Austin thinks there is no good 
reason for our failing of three hundred million people in the year 2000. 
Mr. James J. Hill expects an increase to two hundred million in less 
than fifty years, and Mr. Andrew Carnegie a few years ago thought five 
hundred million a proper figure. Mr. Justin Winsor allows two hun- 
dred million for the Mississippi Valley. Mr. F. A. Ogg raises the figure 

vol. lxxv. —14. 



210 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

by fifty million, and Professor A. B. Hart does not hesitate to go up to 
three hundred and fifty million. We are by no means disposed to dis- 
pute all of these figures, but there are considerations which point in the 
other direction, as for example that the percentage of increase went 
down in the decades between 1860 and 1900. 

We have also the check of advancing civilization. That voluntary 
restriction follows a higher scale of needs is shown in France, in lesser 
degree in Great Britain and probably in all lands of advancing culture. 
Thus there is color for the view that France with her disturbing birth 
rate has only arrived first at the condition to which all cultivated peoples 
are moving. Mojkives of economy and of opportunity for self and chil- 
dren press more strongly as standards rise, and it has recently been 
urged that even Ireland, with new land laws and with peasant pro- 
prietorship, will become more restrictive of population. It seems to be 
as true with man as in the general field of natural history, that the 
higher the type the fewer the progeny. 

Perhaps also this tendency will fall in with the natural limit of 
food production. Indeed, the latter will have a controlling causal effect 
on the former, following the ever-operative law that higher prices or 
approaching scarcity is accompanied by restriction of population. That 
which is temporary in the latter case may well be found permanent in 
the other. 

To the present time immigration has been one of the chief sources 
of our growth. We are already seeing a check of the inflowing current, 
and this may well become permanent in future years. The restrictive 
measures of the government count for something. The narrowing of 
opportunities, as for free land, is another and more powerful factor, and 
a further consideration of unknown significance is rising in our view, 
namely, the improvement of conditions and the triumphs of democratic 
aspiration in the lands from which the foreigner comes. In proportion 
as life in the old countries becomes endurable, not to say attractive, the 
fountains of immigration will begin to go dry. 

On the other hand, there is a source of increase upon which we 
may look with full content, reasons, applicable alike to us, which a 
European authority has assigned, for the increase of European popula- 
tion during the last half century. These reasons are in relation to the 
lowering of the death rate by diminution of war, by the elimination of 
epidemics and by better hygiene. These advances would seem to mean 
more than a lower death rate. Not only are people kept alive, but 
they are made more productive workers and reasonably, it would seem, 
may become more prolific as well as better conditioned. Whatever our 
views of population or progress, it would hardly be prudent to disagree 
with Mr. Mackaye's proposition that it is not so important to get nitro- 
gen into the soil and raise more food as to make right use of the food 
we have. We should, he thinks, avoid undue increase of our population, 



POPULATION OF TEE UNITED STATES 211 

raise our wealth per capita, and not " cause two unhappy human beings 
to live where one lived before." 

It is proposed here to attend more to the means of approaching the 
problem, than to the study of figures, which last in writings on popula- 
tion, are usually guesses supported by vague and inapplicable compari- 
sons with China. As the writer has said elsewhere, it is not of interest 
to know how many Chinese could exist on American soil, but how many 
occidental citizens could live here in comfort and progress. 

The largest single element in our problem must always be food. 
Other things are important, but for simplicity we take this singly, in 
relation to the resources of our own domain. There are several ways 
in which our food supply can be increased, and first of all, without 
raising the sum of products, they can be enlarged in their availability. 
No one familiar with culinary matters can avoid the belief that there is 
great loss through misuse and positive waste. Unskilled treatment 
alone is responsible for much loss of nutritive values and prodigality is 
to be found on private tables, while consumption in public places is 
attended oftentimes with destruction that is well-nigh criminal. The 
rise of industrial and domestic science will in part correct the evil, and 
any ultimate approach to a narrow margin between food and mouths 
would be felt in resulting economies. 

No one doubts that our food supply could be much increased by 
more scientific and intensive cultivation of lands which are now actually 
under the plow. Here indeed we are already beginning a cheerful and 
significant era of hope and achievement. The farmer is becoming a 
wiser man and many things are helping him in his unfolding. This 
came home to us recently in the story of a farmer in western New York, 
who started poor four years ago, has paid for a large farm property 
with four crops, and expects out of the fifth to build a mansion for his 
family. 

The American farmer is learning to adapt his crop to his soil and to 
his market. This is the teaching of the United States Bureau of Soil 
Survey, in its field work and in its reports. It is the burden of the 
agricultural college and of the experiment station, and the agricultural 
explorer of the department in Washington is searching widely in aid of 
something fit and good to fill every arable American acre. Adaptation 
will increase the product of food, as will also the more intelligent and 
energetic use of fertilizers. Intelligence will find the fertilizer and put 
it where it will do the greatest good, and will stimulate the energy in 
its use which is now sadly lacking. Let any man traverse the country 
regions in the eastern states and he will pass innumerable poor and 
hungry farms, and the greater the natural leanness of the soil, the more 
sure is he to see the manure-heap leaching, often for the second year, 
in the farm yard. 

In like degree are our resources now wasted through the prevalent 



2i2 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

methods of sewage disposal. No treachery to the land can be so great 
as that which sends out into the sea the highly concentrated nitrogenous 
products which have with toil been wrung from a soil which is becoming 
poor in capacity for crops. In this primitive riddance of valuable 
matter we accomplish a further loss by polluting the waters and if we 
do not thus endanger human life, we destroy the fields in which a 
certain important amount of aquatic food can be produced. 

A further gain can be had on soils already in use by expert manage- 
ment in the direction of proper succession of crops and a thoroughness 
of occupation and tillage often seen in Italy, France or Belgium, but 
only exceptionally found as yet in our own land. We need not only 
better directed labor, but more labor on the same soil. In the regions 
of sufficient rainfall, which comprise nearly the eastern half of the 
United States, we shall find, or did find in 1900, seven men per average 
square mile, tilling the soil, or one to each lot of 91.4 acres. Making 
generous allowance for ground not in tillage, we still find the working 
force far too small to bring maximum quantities of food out of the 
ground. We need also on much plow land and meadow east of the 
arid belt supplementary irrigation for many seasons and for some crops, 
and with abundant water resources, there is no good reason why nature 
should not thus be helped to her best. Some areas, many, it would 
doubtless be better to say, would be doubled in productive worth by 
more effective drainage than has yet been applied. The barest inspec- 
tion of crop averages per acre, or of half the ripening harvests that fall 
under the eye of the traveler, supports the belief that a vast increment 
of food can be won from lands that are not now given a full chance. 

Further inquiry leads us to lands not now cultivated, which might 
and will be made productive. Here some of our largest reserves appear. 
Lands of an arid or semi-arid character embrace about two fifths of our 
territory. In these great fields, and in small patches now improved, 
crops can not be expected unless water is applied by man. There is 
doubtless force in the claim that these soils are potentially marked by 
exceptional richness, due not only to the fact that they are virgin soils 
as related to man, but because they have not suffered the leaching and 
waste of important elements which have affected soils in lands of large 
rainfall. It is cited by Hilgard that Nile lands have for centuries 
supported an average population of more than one and one half persons 
per square acre, which means a density of about 1,000 per square mile. 
Without questioning the accuracy of this claim, it may be urged that 
we do not know whether flooding by the Cordilleran irrigator would be 
as favorable to fertility as the flooding of the Nile. Nor may we forget 
comparative standards of living any more than in the case of China. 

We must also keep in sight the inevitable condition that there is 
water enough in the west to make fertile but a small fraction of the dry 
area. If we accept this at one fifteenth and receive without discount 



POPULATION OF TEE UNITED STATES 213 

the figures for the Nile, applying them boldly to Arizona, Colorado, 
Nevada and the other arid states, we shall arrive at a population of 
eighty million for the arid regions. The eastern man will incline to 
think this conclusion savors of fancy, and the Cordilleran enthusiast will 
in like manner think it sober and sensible prophecy. All will agree, 
however, that the food production of the country willl rise by a marked 
increase when reclamation work has been carried toward its maximum. 
Whether .many millions or several tens of millions will thus be added 
to our numbers is not important to our present purpose. That the 
growth will be large none denies. 

A further great gain will be made in the drainage of our marsh 
lands, both of the marine and of the fresh- water type. That this is in no 
way theoretical appears in the vast European areas, which, though now 
densely peopled, were more or less covered by water a millennium ago. 
Professor Shaler counted that the area of swamp lands rises to more 
than 100,000 square miles, reckoning only such marshes as would be 
considered reclaimable in northern Europe, and he believes that they 
would be equal in production to the three states on the north bank of 
the Ohio River, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. When one remembers the 
quality of a drained swamp, and that the area of available marshes is 
about three fourths as great as these combined states, he will have no 
difficulty with this conclusion. 

The importance of this reserve has recently been accented by the 
proposal of Senator H. C. Hansbrough, to make these marshes also sub- 
ject to reclamation by federal action. Further emphasis is warranted 
by the easy proximity of many of these lands to great eastern markets, 
and by their adaptation to the intensive culture of many crops. 

We may be challenged in the statement that forest lands of some 
extent may yet be spared for tillage. The writer yields to no one in 
loyal conviction of the importance of forest conservation, or in con- 
demnation of congressional delay and inaction. Ultimate adaptation 
will control in forest conservation, and some lands will be cleared for 
needful and effective tillage, and their loss will be counterbalanced by 
the foresting of other areas where unfitness for the plow is now evident. 

We shall also replace forest products in a more extended use of 
underground materials for buildings and implements. As in Europe 
the clay pit and the quarry will afford means of curtailing the forest. 
Likewise the use of the fibers of grain plants for the making of paper 
will release timber for other uses or timber land for other crops. We 
need also to remember that the remaining forests will be properly con- 
served and made largely and permanently productive. When, forty 
years ago, the Irish laborer planted his potato patch by the railway 
track, or when to-day the Italian immigrant raises his vegetables in 
waste corners, it has not been recognized that he is the pioneer of the 
future. It is the traveler in such foreign lands as Belgium, Norway 
or Italy, who becomes able to appreciate the waste of American soils. 



2i 4 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Beyond the plowed fields of the present, the arid and wet lands and the 
superfluous forests, are no inconsiderable reserves of food from lands 
deemed useless. We may consider potential gardens along more than 
two hundred thousand miles of railway, the fruit that might grow by 
millions of miles of highway, the steep and immature slopes that are 
more capable of terracing than those of Capri or Amalfi, or ancient 
Palestine, and finally those rugged areas of glacial hillside or mountain 
slope, where nut-bearing trees might produce no inconsiderable amount 
of highly nutritious food. The possible production of food substances 
in the laboratory is at present so far from the geographer's domain that 
it would be profitless to dwell upon it. 

It is plain that the whole circle of conservation problems applies 
here, not only by directly increasing food, as in irrigation, but in 
cheapening the cost of transportation, in saving land by forest conserva- 
tion and in utilizing power of every kind to the full, thus releasing time 
and energy for the free use of opportunity and the complete employment 
of all our resources. Thus a well ordered civilization would sustain 
the greatest number at good standards, as a well-managed household 
may maintain a large family on a lesser sum than is required by a 
neighboring small household. 

Population capacity would afford a less baffling inquiry if food alone 
were needed. Mere questions of mouths, bushels and pounds might 
involve simple ratios, easily determined, but we must at once include 
clothing, of vegetable fibers, animal fibers, furs and skins, nearly all 
requiring land for their production. Man must have shelter and a 
long catalogue of objects of domestic utility, for the household and for 
the tillage of the soil. These things may become chiefly derivable from 
subterranean sources with the single exception of a minimum demand 
on the forest. Many rocks and mineral substances would far outrun 
any possible use of them, but it seems certain that we could not for 
many generations supply iron for as marry millions as we can feed. It 
may be doubtful whether our ultimate expansion will receive its first 
effective check above or below the surface of the earth. 

We must include also a wide range of objects of public utility, such 
as roads and all appliances of transportation and manufacture, and 
public structures for education, worship, government, health and 
charity, adding instruments of knowledge and pleasure such as books, 
music, ornaments and all works of art. 

Almost as fundamental as food is the requirement of power. Here, 
however, the supply seems ample and permament. Long before the 
stores of buried fuel are exhausted, other natural forces, particularly 
that of moving water, will meet the needs of any population which we 
can feed. The maximum of population therefore for the whole world 
hinges upon the supply of material substances derived from the atmos- 
phere, the water, the soil and the rocks. 



POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES 215 

For a given country the problem is complicated by exchange. The 
exchange values, however, must be won on the home ground. England 
has, for example, a far greater population than she can feed, but her coal 
and iron have enabled her to manufacture and to carry for other nations. 
But England is now to a considerable extent using foreign supplies of 
the ores of iron. For a period she may do this and maintain her in- 
dustry, through inertia, but imported raw materials and fuel could not 
permanently afford a basis for British industry, and for the present 
population of the United Kingdom. In that future, whenever it may 
come, the islands will contain the people whom they can feed, clothe and 
shelter, and no more. 

Total resources, therefore, rather than total food production, de- 
termine how many people a given country can support, but in the world 
aspect total food marks an absolute limit, since we can not bring in food 
from Mars, even if Mr. Percival Lowell should convince us that she had 
a surplus. 

It would be interesting to consider the United States in the light 
of the principles that have been suggested, but the story would be too 
long. We might simplify it by adopting the interesting and pleasant 
belief that our extraordinary range of resources would enable us to get 
on with little exchange, but this, as we have seen, would hardly change 
the result as to population. Mr. 0. P. Austin supports our hopes of 
three hundred million people by the comfortable assurance that we can 
grow all our sugar, all our rice, wine, tea, silk fibers, tobacco and most 
tropical fruits. Probably we could get on without diamonds and there 
are those who think our civilization might survive without coffee. But 
it would really make little difference whether we raised coffee or bought 
it with the proceeds of wheat. Or we might, indifferently, raise our 
silk, or sell farm machinery and buy silk, since either sort of production 
at present requires trees, and trees require land. 

We have ventured the belief that we are sure of power. We may 
further include hopefully the resources of the underworld of the rocks, 
considering new reductions and uses of metals and many mineral sub- 
stances. When the use of wood has come down to the minimum, the 
chief remaining demands on the soil, may, after all, be for food and 
clothing. 

If we further suppose war and heavy armaments eliminated and all 
government honestly and economically administered, we shall cover a 
vast present waste. Thus to arrive at maximum population we must 
somewhat approach millennial conditions. Then, in high degree a self- 
sufficient nation, we could keep as many people as our own soil could 
feed and clothe. With wise timidity we have been deferring those large 
transactions in figures which the reader has been expecting, and we 
might with good show of reason, confess that inquiry for precise results 
is absurd and drop the attempt to forecast. Nevertheless, the next 
patriotic speech will marshal before us our future hundreds of millions, 



216 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

sole progeny of buoyant national pride. Perhaps, therefore, any sober 
argument on this inevitable theme is better than none. 

Probably the safest approach is by comparison, for thus we avail 
ourselves of such experience as has come to our race in different parts 
of the world. But let us avoid China and Java, even though they seem 
such available examples of a great population, of high density, with 
small percentage of exchange and hence almost self-sufficient. But 
their standards of living — could we, even with our superior skill and 
progressiveness, take the same resources and support an equal number 
of people up to American standards of comfort and efficiency ? We do 
not know those resources well enough to tell, hence we dismiss oriental 
nations and turn to people more like ourselves. 

We have elsewhere made a brief comparison between England and 
that part of the United States which lies east of the Dakotas, Kansas 
and Texas. It was suggested that this region, about two fifths of the 
chief continental area of the United States, averages in resources of 
every sort as well as England, and it was shown that if we could in 
these 1,200,000 square miles reach the present density of England, we 
should have, east of the meridian of Omaha, 742,000,000 people. To 
have put this in print should at once, it would seem, shatter all preten- 
sion to soberness. We are quite willing to scale down the figure, while 
taking refuge under the fact that these computations were not offered 
as prophecy. With such an enormous population, we, like England, 
could not feed half our mouths, and should have to exchange other 
products for food. But other lands might not have the surplus in those 
days, to send to us. And our underground resources might be seriously 
reduced, if not exhausted, and we could not produce the exchange 
values. We thus see how fascinating and how futile is the hundred- 
million tendency. Let us divide our total by three, and arrive at a 
population which we might hope to feed from our own soil, a little 
under 250,000,000. It will be seen that in this estimate we leave the 
Great Plains and Cordilleras to be peopled according to the dictates of 
a cold conservatism, or of a lively enthusiasm. 

An instructive comparison can be made with Italy, whose area is 
110,550 square miles, and whose population is reckoned to have been, 
on January 1, 1907, 33,640,710. The density was 304.3, not far from 
half that of England or Belgium, and about twelve times as great as 
that exhibited by the United States in 1900. 

We may first take the comparative density of agricultural workers. 
In Italy, of persons, male and female, over nine years of age, there were 
at work in the fields, in 1900, 9,611,003. In our own country in 1900 
there were, over ten years of age, 10,438,219. When we remember that 
the smaller country contained a little more than 30,000,000 people at 
that time and we had 76,000,000, the figures show their meaning. This 
comes out with force if we look at the ratio of workers to a given surface 
of production. In the United States east of the arid regions there was 



POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES 217 

one worker to each 91.4 acres, counting the entire territory. In Italy 
there was one to each 5.07 acres, counting only the productive lands. 
But as these are there reckoned at more than two thirds of the whole, 
the comparison stands almost at full force. Including all of Italy, we 
should find one worker for each plot of eight acres or a little less. 

Making all due allowance for primitive methods and smaller indi- 
vidual efficiency, we still see how much more intensive is the care of the 
lands. And we must not forget that in Lombardy and some other 
parts of the Mediterranean kingdom, modern methods are gaining 
ground. Indeed that nearly two thirds of the country is worked as 
productive soil is in itself significant to one who knows the ruggedness 
of much of the realm. The stretches of bare Apenine slope seem to 
be endless, and one is sometimes inclined to say that Italy is fertile 
only in spots. It has been called a " gray rather than a green country," 
a designation which must stand true except for idealizing imaginations 
which require Italy to unroll fields of endless verdure. One must 
traverse the Val d'Arno, or cross and recross the plains of the Po, find 
the fertile corners of south Italy and Sicily, and then explore the 
terraced mountainsides and secluded Apenine valleys, to learn how 
the little kingdom feeds so many people. If we are reminded that the 
people are poor and the comforts of life small, we recognize the fact, 
often sad and depressing, but even here, when considering capacity for 
population, we remember that Italy has lost by long use of her soils, 
and by much injury through deforestation, no small measure of her 
ancient capacity for food production. We, on the other hand, have a 
virgin country and on the whole our spirit of conservation has arisen 
in time to save us from fatal losses. 

The value of Italian products, as reported, for tillage, animals and 
forest, is annually about $1,000,000,000. This figure, however, does not 
include the items of poultry, eggs or vegetables. These, and especially 
the last, are no doubt far more important relatively than in our own 
country. The above figure gives a little less than $30 in value for each 
person in the kingdom. This indeed would seem a starvation figure, 
but for the vegetables, whose rapid succession of crops and large con- 
sumption, must be a large factor in maintaining so great a density. 

The comparison turns greatly in our favor when we consider under- 
ground resources, and here her paucity makes Italy instructive for 
population study. Gold and silver are so small as to be negligible, and 
yet she must acquire her reasonable sum of these metals. Sulphur is 
far in the lead, but amounts annually to but little more than $7,000,- 
000. Zinc follows with $4,000,000, lead with a little more than one 
and one half million and all the others fall below the last figure. Iron 
gives an annual value of $1,371,155, and employs but 1,790 workers. 
Mineral fuel stands at $838,375, a small fraction of the mineral fuel 
output of the single state of Iowa. Coal and coke are imported to the 
extent of about $40,000,000, and boilers and machinery cross the f ron- 



2i8 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

tier to the value of $32,600,000. The total annual mineral output of 
Italy is about $20,000,000. 

When we remember that Italy imports much of her food as well as 
iron, coal and other things, we are pressed with the question — where 
does she get her exchange values? Five of her imports pass the hun- 
dred million lire mark. These are wheat, raw cotton, coal and coke, 
boilers and machinery and raw silk. But one export passes this mark, 
viz., raw silk, rising, however, to nearly 600,000,000 lire. There are, 
indeed, many exports of smaller value, but these are more than offset 
by minor imports, so that, as a whole, her imports exceed her exports 
by nearly 600,000,000 lire, or by about 33 per cent. It is not easy to 
see how Italy maintains her people. Certain reliefs suggest themselves. 
It is admitted that many Italians exist rather than live ; but this must 
not be said of Rome or Tuscany or the valley of the Po. We allow 
something for a genial climate which at once gives quick returns from 
the soil and reduces the need of clothing and fuel. And we may not 
forget the great sums brought into Italy by travelers and foreign resi- 
dents, for the winning of whose money Italian arrangements some- 
times seem peculiarly effective. However difficult it is for one not 
trained in economic studies to see how this thing is done, it is done, 
and conditions are improving. We are thus warranted in looking to 
this middle kingdom of the Mediterranean for lessons concerning our- 
selves. 

As has been already intimated, 70.6 per cent, of Italy is registered 
as productive, the rest being barren or negligible. Let us consider the 
territory of the United States east of the arid regions. We will (let 
us hope to be forgiven) eliminate New England, the Appalachian 
Mountain belt, the Appalachian Plateau, the interior timbered region 
and the Ozark Hills. The lands thus thrown out as relatively poor 
contain 28 per cent, of the area under consideration, which it will be 
seen is not far from the 29.4 per cent, rejected in Italy. And they con- 
tain 30,000,000 people, which is not far from the population of Italy. 
We have left a vast expanse of prairie, alluvial and lacustrine lowland, 
and of coastal plain. We may at least please our fancy by giving these 
selected lands the density of Italy. The resulting population is about 
334,000,000. Adding the present population of the rejected areas, we 
have a total east of the arid belt, of 364,000,000. If we allow half the 
density of Italy for this entire area, we have a total population east of 
the arid belt, of 230,000,000. 

We have just referred to a classification of lands which is compara- 
tively new. For some years physiographers have seen that new cate- 
gories were needed in the description of continental surfaces. The 
forms of the land have been taken into account, in respect both to their 
origin and to their present characteristics. A plain is more than a plain 
for it may be of a variety of origins and types, with its peculiar phases 
of structure, relief, soil, climate and vegetation. Similar statements 



POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES 219 

may be made of plateaux and mountain regions. In the census of 1900, 
this classification was taken up in a brief and supplementary way, and 
the area, population and density of the several physiographic regions 
were computed and are placed before the reader. The areas are not 
exact, for the boundaries had to be determined by the nearest available 
county lines, but the error can hardly be of disturbing proportions. 

It is not here possible to exhibit or discuss the interesting facts 
brought out by this new departure of the census. It marks, however, a 
step of progress in understanding the adjustment of our people to their 
environment. Under the designation of New England Hills are in- 
cluded New England, the Adirondacks and the foothill country east of 
the Hudson in the state of New York. The density for this region 
is the highest in the United States, 124.1. How strongly population 
turns on other factors than soil, thus appears, and the result becomes 
astonishing when we put down in comparison the present density of the 
prairie region, viz., 29.2. 

Using the new land classification, we may approach again the pos- 
sible or probable population east of the great plains, or in the well- 
watered eastern section of the United States. Leaving out the New 
England Hills, which already exceed the density we are about to pro- 
pose, and omitting the Appalachian Plateau and the Ozark Hills, it 
would seem reasonable to expect an average density of 100 for the re- 
maining territory of the east. This is about the density of Europe. 
The territory for which we propose it includes the coastal plains and 
lowlands, the Appalachian Valley, the piedmont and lake regions, the 
Mississippi alluvial region, the interior timbered region and the prai- 
ries. One need not apologize for thinking this aggregate physically as 
good as average Europe. Two of the regions, the Appalachian Valley 
and the piedmont, already have more than three fourths of the density 
proposed, and the interior timbered region, so far from being the wilder- 
ness implied by its name, has a density of 68.7. Raising the whole to 
100, we pass from the present 53,800,000 to 127,600,000. If to this 
total we add the present population of the New England Hills, the 
Appalachian Plateau and the Ozark Hills, we bring our total to 145,- 
000,000. If we allow reasonably for the growth of these three regions 
we place the figure at 150,000,000. 

A density of 100, however, seems a low expectation for the prairies, 
and also for the lake region, which last already has 55.2 persons per 
square mile. Considering the soil, climate, minerals and transporta- 
tion facilities of the lake borders, their population must largely in- 
crease. Give these two regions the present density of France or of 
Austria-Hungary, we must add to the total already reached, 40,000,000 
for the prairies and 15,000,000 for the lakes, bringing our total east of 
the great plains to 205,000,000. 

Iowa is a typical prairie state and has 55,475 square miles, not 
counting a few hundred miles of water surface. This state has about 



22o TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

two and one fourth million of people, and with the density of France 
would have more than four times as many, or nearly ten and one half 
million. Iowa now has 13.39 acres of improved farm land for each 
one of her population. With the greater density she would have about 
three acres for each person, while France now has two and one third 
acres. In general fertility the odds are probably in favor of Iowa. 

The mineral output of France is now relatively much greater than 
that of the prairie state, but it is by no means certain that the ratio 
would be maintained under full development of the new region, whose 
building stones, clays and gypsum are but in their commercial begin- 
nings. In that prime necessity, coal, Iowa has quite the advantage, for 
she mines annually 2f tons for each resident, against $ ton in France. 
The latter people imports much fuel, while the vast resources of Iowa 
for the most part lie still beneath the surface. Not many are probably 
aware that Iowa has 7,000 square miles of forest, more than at any 
previous time within the ken of the white man. She has, indeed, nearly 
as much forest for the proposed ten million people, as France now has 
for an equal number. It seems reasonable, therefore, to forecast for 
the prairies an occupation as dense as that of France or Austria. 

It would be fatal to the peace of any student to omit the west in 
such a discussion as this. The writer recently made before the Inter- 
national Geographic Congress at Geneva what seemed to him the mod- 
erate and innocent assertion, that the center of our population would 
always remain some distance east of the geographic center of the 
United States. He was sharply reminded by a fellow American that 
such sentiments openly expressed on the Pacific Coast would make him 
the subject of a lynching excursion. As he is at present at a safe dis- 
tance he retains his view, but is willing to accept tentatively a generous 
prophecy for the Cordilleras. Suppose we take seventy-five per cent, of 
the figure already hazarded for the areas of reclamation, or 60,000,000. 
And that we may not seem to be dominated by cramped eastern notions, 
let us concede, since no data are available, that when the arid lands are 
turned into paradise and a full trade established up and down the 
Pacific and across its wide waters, that the coast and its cities, the wet 
belt of the border, the mining centers, mountain valleys and arid pas- 
tures will harbor an additional 40,000,000 people. This allows 100,- 
000,000 people west of the prairies, a region that in 1900 had a popu- 
lation of 4,654,818 and a density of 3.5. Here is an increase of twenty- 
one and a half times, a proposal which can hardly be charged with 
parsimony, and raises our total for the whole country to 305,000,000. 
If we think the Cordilleran estimate out of bounds, it would yet be 
easy on the basis of European comparisons to find place for compen- 
sating millions in some of the geographic regions east of the Mississippi 
Eiver. 



PE ALE'S MUSEUM 221 



PEALF/S MUSEUM 

By HAROLD SELLERS COLTON, Ph.D. 

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 

AN almost neglected chapter in the history of the natural sciences 
in this country is that dealing with Peale's Museum. 1 Of the 
accounts of the museum that have appeared from time to time, one 
alone is worthy of consideration, being written from a scientific point 
of view. The work referred to is by Mr. Witmer Stone 2 and considers 
the ornithological collections alone. 

Through the great kindness of Mr. Horace Wells Sellers, access has 
been had to the diaries, letter books and unpublished autobiography of 
Charles Willson Peale. With the material thus furnished by Mr. 
Sellers, to whom the writer is deeply indebted, and much other mate- 
rial from the Pennsylvania Historical Society and the Philadelphia 
Library, very little of which has been referred to by biographers, many 
clouds enveloping the history of Peale's Museum have been cleared 
away. As this history is so intimately connected with the life of the 
founder, a better beginning can not be made than by reviewing briefly 
his career. 

His life was a long one — eighty-six years. It divides itself very 
naturally into four periods — of about equal length — twenty to twenty- 
four years: the period of youth, the period of the prime of life, the 
period of middle age, and the period of old age. The first period 
begins with his birth in Queen Anne County, Maryland, April 15, 1741. 

His progenitors were English. In the paternal line, they were for 
several generations rectors of the parish of Edith Weston in Rutland- 
shire. Charles Peale, his father, although educated in turn for the 
church at Cambridge, did not take a degree, but came to this country 
and became headmaster of the Kent County Free School in Maryland. 
Although the school was popular and patronized by the best families 
of Kent County, yet he, at times, had great difficulty in making both 
ends meet; and died when his eldest son Charles Willson Peale was 
nine years old. His widow, being left with very little to provide for 
a large family, removed to Annapolis, and, by dressmaking, maintained 
herself and her children. 

^he official name was "The Philadelphia Museum," but must not be 
confused with the now existing "Philadelphia Museum," which was founded 
forty-five years after the former ceased to exist. 

*Awk, April, 1899, Vol. XVI., pp. 166-177. 



222 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Charles was now put to school; but, after he had learned writing 
and arithmetic, etc., he was apprenticed, at the age of thirteen, to a 
saddler. Working out his apprenticeship, when he was twenty-one 
he married into an influential family; and, with the assistance of a life- 
long friend of his father, James Tilghman, set up in business for 
himself. 

The saddlery business did not prove a success; and it was about 
this time that he, on seeing a poorly executed painting and having had 
from childhood a taste for drawing, thought that he could paint as 
well. With some borrowed colors and by the aid of a looking glass, 
he painted a portrait of himself with such good results that some of 
his friends advised him to study painting seriously. Thus, at the age 
of twenty-four, he began the second period of his life — that of a painter. 

Peale, the Portrait Painter 

After studying under the best available talent in Maryland and in 
Virginia, he went to Boston and took a few lessons under Copley and 
shortly afterward was engaged to paint several portraits. Returning 
to Annapolis, his work soon became noticed. John Beale Bordley and 
several of his fellow members of the Governor's Council of Maryland 
made up a purse and sent Peale to London to study under Benjamin 
West. Returning to Maryland two years later, his ability was soon 
recognized and for the next twenty years he was the leading portrait 
painter of Pennsylvania and the south. 

His many engagements in Philadelphia caused him to move to that 
city in 1774 and to make it his permanent home. Being an ardent 
patriot, he offered his services to the American cause at the beginning 
of the Revolution, being made lieutenant and later captain in a com- 
pany of Philadelphia militia. He was in action in the battles of 
Germantown, Trenton and Princeton. At Valley Forge in the winter 
of 1777 he found occupation in painting portraits of his fellow officers. 
Many of his portraits painted during the war were subsequently placed 
in his "painting room" to form a nucleus of what he hoped would 
become a national portrait gallery. During this period, his interest in 
public affairs led him into various activities and public positions in 
connection with the British evacuation of Philadelphia. 

As soon as opportunity offered, he established himself in a house at 
Third and Lombard streets and resumed with his former energy the 
practise of his portrait painting. In connection with this house he 
built a long room to hold his pictures and to use as a studio. As 
curiosities Dr. Morgan gave him some bones of a mammoth from 
Ohio; Professor Robt. Patterson, of the College of Philadelphia, pre- 
sented him with a paddle fish from the Allegheny River; Dr. Franklin 
gave him an Angora cat from France, which was soon lost for want 



PEALE'S MUSEUM 223 

of proper means to preserve it; with these as a nucleus, it was sug- 
gested to Peale that he start a museum of natural history. 

The Museum 

At the age of forty-four the third period of Peale's life may be 
said to begin. Acting on the suggestion that he form a museum of 
natural histoiy, he at once referred to books to discover the means to 
preserve reptiles, quadrupeds and birds. At the end of the second 
summer those preserved were all eaten up by dermestes and moths. 
After a great deal of experimenting, a method was devised that fills 
many pages of his autobiography. The basis of this method was the 
use of arsenic and alum. Although it had a veiy serious effect on his 
health for awhile, yet he was obliged to use it. " The many difficulties 
I had encountered in this new business," said he in his autobiography, 
" had made me often repent that I had undertaken so arduous a task, 
yet . . . the idea of handing down to posterity a work, that if judi- 
ciously managed might become equal to any undertaking of the like 
kind in, Europe " — this was a stimulus to his exertions. Although, by 
the neglect of his portrait painting, he found it difficult, at times, to 
meet the expenses not only of his family, but of taxes, ground rents 
and other unavoidable expenses of his establishment, yet his enthu- 
siasm, perseverance and ingenuity enabled him to conquer the difficul- 
ties, but not without the aid of his talents as a painter. Finally, after 
placing his museum on a self-supporting basis he retired in 1808 to 
his country place, " Belfield," in Germantown. 

In the midst of the active period of museum development he made 
trips when his funds were low into all the neighboring states to paint. 
During his trips he never lost an opportunity to gather specimens or 
further the interests of his museum. On a trip to Maryland he met 
a Eev. Mr. Kerby who was a collector of beetles. His account, in his 
diary, of the effect of this meeting shows the enthusiasm that was 
instilled into his collecting. Said he: 

Some collectors, like myself, have only looked for subjects large and 
striking to the sight, but now I declare that I find equal pleasure in seeking 
for an acquaintance with those little animals whose life, perhaps, is spent on 
a single leaf, or at most on a single bush. It is diverting to watch a flower as 
you approach and see the little being watching you. It turns around a twig 
or part of a flower to avoid your sight, and in an instant drawing in its legs 
rolls off, sometimes falling from leaf to leaf to get a passage to the ground. 

Yesterday morning I set out to walk several miles before dinner. . . . But 
in the first meadow I found myself examining the bushes attentively and there 
I found so much amusement that several hours passed away before I could 
think of leaving those bewitching animals. Looking at my watch, I found it 
was almost dinner time, when I scarcely thought I had begun my pursuit. 

The museum grew rapidly and soon he was obliged to seek for other 
quarters. Being a member of the Philosophical Society, some of his 



224 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

friends suggested that he rent Philosophical Hall. This the society 
allowed him to do, making him curator and librarian. In describing 
the moving of the collection he writes : 

To take advantage of public curiosity, I contrived to make a very consid- 
erable parade of the articles, especially those which were large. As boys are 
generally very fond of parade, I collected all the boys of the neighborhood. 
At the head of the parade was carried on men's shoulder's, the American 
buffalo, the panthers, tiger cats; and a long string of animals carried by the 
boys. The parade from Lombard Street to the Hall brought all the inhabitants 
to their doors and windows to see the cavalcade. It was fine fun for the boys. 
They were willing to work in such a novel removal and saved me some expense 
in moving the delicate articles. 

Governor Mifflin allowed Peale to fence in part of the State House 
Garden so as to make a place to keep living animals. Speaking of 
this, Peale said: 

The cages and animals kept in the yard amused the public much, but was 
supported with some expense; yet it was a necessary appendage to the museum, 
as animals that had not come to their full growth are not fit subjects to be 
preserved, except when some of the young are to be placed with their parents 
to form family groups, as pictures of the manners of animals. 

Notwithstanding legends to the contrary, this was the only zoological 
garden that Peale ever attempted to form, it being but a temporary 
expedient. 

It was not Peale's practise to sell his duplicate specimens; but 
wherever opportunity offered he would exchange. In this way he was 
soon in communication with the various museums of Europe and from 
his letters I find that he sent many specimens to the Museuin d'Histoire 
Naturelle, to the British Museum, to the Royal Society of Sweden, and 
many others scattered over Europe. 

It must be remembered that during much of this time Europe was 
at war. Privateers scoured the seas, which made many letters go 
astray and caused many cases of specimens to be lost. Notwithstand- 
ing these troubles he mentions receiving an orang-outang and a 
" Platipus," and many other beasts from all over the world. 

" Now to show all these things to advantage," said Peale, " required 
judgment as well as a tasteful disposition of them to be pleasing to the 
eye as well as useful to enquiring visitors." In classifying animals he 
followed Linnaeus. In fact he was such an admirer of Linnaeus that 
he named one of his children after the great Swede. He used Button's 
work to identify the specimens. However, as one would expect in a 
new country that had been visited by but few naturalists, much of the 
material gathered by Peale would be classed as " non-descripts." To 
these Peale gave a common name but did not describe. It fell to the 
labors of Wilson, Say and other Philadelphia naturalists who followed 
to describe those animals. As arranged in the cases each animal had 
on it a label that gave the English, French and (when one had been 
given to it) Latin name. 



PE ALE'S MUSEUM 225 



Charles Willson Pkale. 

With respect to the arrangement of the specimens on the shelves 
Peata says: 

It is not customary in Europe, it is said, to paint skies and landscapes in 
their cases of birds and other animals, and it may have a neat and clean 
appearance to line them only with white paper, but on the other hand it is not 
only pleasing to see a sketch of a landscape, but by showing the nest, hollow, 
cave or a particular view of the country from which they came, some instances 
of the habits may be given. 

This idea is interesting because it is the one that is growing in favor 
in the museums of Europe and America at the present time. 

Pedle and His Contemporaries 
In 1792 Peale writes: 

Having exerted myself to my utmost ability to collect and preserve articles 
for the mi seum and believing I could get men of distinction to form a board 
of visitors and obtain legislative aid for the further improvement of it so that 
at last it might become a great national institution, I waited on several 
gentlemen. 

vol.. i.xxv.— In. 



226 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

As a result of this, a board of visitors or directors was formed of 
twenty-five individuals. Thomas Jefferson was elected president, and 
among the others present were Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, 
Thos.' Mifflin, Robert Morris, David Rittenhouse and Dr. Caspar Wistar. 
In the registration book of season ticket holders for the year 1794, the 
first signature is that of George Washington, who signed for four 
tickets. Then follow the names of John Adams, Munroe, etc. The 
fact that he was able to procure the aid of such men and the fact that 
he was allowed the use of Independence Hall rent free for a time and 
later for a nominal rental, all show that the museum was recognized 
as a valuable institution. 

The decades 1790-1810, during which Peale was most active, com- 
posed part of the period of American zoology called by Brown Goode 3 
the period of Jefferson. The influence that the great statesman ex- 
erted Goode compared to that of Agassiz in a later period. Among 
the medical profession of the country were a few men interested in 
natural history. These centered about the newly founded medical 
school of the University of Pennsylvania. The ones only that might 
be placed in a class with Jefferson were Caspar Wistar and Benjamin 
Smith Barton. Later may be mentioned the names of Wilson, Ord 
and Rafinesque. 

At this time the pure sciences centered around the American Philo- 
sophical Society. The minute books of the society show that from the 
time that Peale was elected a member in 1786, he was rarely absent 
from a meeting. Renting, as he did, a large part of the hall and being 
librarian and curator, he was for many years closely identified with it. 

In 1804, Baron Humboldt, Bompland, the botanist, and a Peruvian 
gentleman, Montrefar, arrived in Philadelphia from the famous trip 
to South America. Peale was a member of an informal committee 
from the Philosophical Society to see to their reception. The commit- 
tee went with the travelers to Washington, where they were entertained 
by President Jefferson. Of this journey Peale writes to his brother- 
in-law in New York: 

However, I have been richly repaid for the expense and trouble of a 
journey, by the agreeable conversation of Baron Humboldt, who is, without 
exception, the most extraordinary traveler I have ever met with; he is a foun- 
tain of knowledge that flows in copious streams; to drop this metaphore, he is 
a great luminary diffusing light in every branch of science, I say diffusing 
because he is so communicative of his knowledge, which has been treasured up 
in his travels of upward of nineteen years. 

The Baron sat before Peale for his portrait and on sailing for France 
Peale presented him with a mounted specimen of an alligator. This 

8 ^r. Brown Goode, " Beginnings of American Science," Proc. Bio. Sci. 
Wash., Vol. IV.. 85. 



PE ALE'S MUSEUM .227 

later was presented on the Baron's return to France to the National 
Museum. 4 

With the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Peale had more inter- 
course than with any other institution in Europe. This began when 
the museum in Philadelphia was very young, by the arrival in Phila- 
delphia of the naturalist, Baron Palisot de Beauvois, a refugee from 
the terrible massacre at St. Domingo. For the short time that he was 
in Philadelphia, Beauvois aided Peale in many ways. Not only did he 
help Peale in identifying the specimens, 5 but he also wrote the French 
edition of tfie "catalogue; and Peale in turn aided him by furnishing 
him with many letters of introduction whenever he went on collecting 
trips into other states. A personal friendship sprang up which lasted 
till Beauvois' death in 1820, and it is in Peak's letters to Beauvois 
after the latter^ return to France that one finds the best account of 
what was going on in Philadelphia. With respect to the museum, Peale 
was in correspondence with Geffroy St. Hilaire and with Cuvier, also 
receiving letters from Lamarck. With all these connections joining the 
museum to France it was not strange that the French influence was 
strong. 

The Mastodon 

The feat which was Peale's greatest achievement in connection 
with the museum was the recovery and reconstruction of the skeleton 
of a mastodon. In the spring of 1801, receiving information from a 
scientific correspondent in the state of New York that the bones of a 
mammoth had been found in digging a marl pit near Newburg, Peale 
hastened to the spot; and, after bargaining with Mr. Masten, who 
owned the farm on which the bones were found, he finally paid $300 
for those bones that had already been procured and the right to drain 
and excavate the morass to recover if possible the rest of the skeleton. 
On Mr. Masten showing Peale the spot where the bones were found, 
which was a spacious hole filled with water, he wrote in his auto- 
biography : 

The pleasure which I felt at seeing the place, where I supposed my great 
treasure lay, almost tempted me to strip off my clothes and dive to the bottom 
and try to feel for bones. The hope, however, of returning soon with the means 
of emptying the pond satisfied me. 

He went at once to New York. Through President Jefferson he was 
able to borrow pumps from the Navy Department and other things 
from the War Office. The Philosophical Society advanced him $500 
without interest, with his house in Philadelphia as security. He then 
returned to the scene of operation with his son Rembrandt. After 

*Hamy, E. T., "Alexandre de Humboldt et le Museum D'Histoire Nat- 
urelle," Nou. Achhis. Du Mus., 4e series, Vol. VIII., p. 10. 

•Cuvier, " Eloge de M. dc Beauvois," Mem. Paris Acad. Sci., IV., 1819-20, 
p. 318. 



228 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Independence Hall, Philadelphia, which contained Peale's Museum. 

hard work they were rewarded with grand success and were able to 
ship to Philadelphia one skeleton that lacked principally the lower 
jaw and the top of the head. What was lacking in this skeleton was 
found in another from a nearby bog. The bones of the two animals 
were not mixed. When the skeletons were set up the missing parts 
were carved out of wood, so that there were finished two complete skele- 
tons. " Although putting these skeletons together/' to return again 
to the autobiography, " was a long and arduous work ; yet the novelty 
of the subject, the producing the form, and, as it would seem a second 
creation, was delightful; and every day's work brought forth its 
pleasure." 

Up to this time many scattered bones and teeth of the mastodon 
had been found in this country. They had been described as belong- 
ing to a race of gigantic man, to the fathers of cattle, to hippopotomi, 
etc. In a letter to Geffroy Saint-Hilaire describing his find Peale 
states that this animal should be called the carnivorous elephant of the 
north, .but should not be confounded with the Siberian mammoth. 
Cuvier in his memoir " Le Grand Mastodonte " writes: 

Mais pendant que nous travail lions ainsi en Europe sur quelques fragmens 
de cet animal, M. Peale eontinuait a en recueillir les os, et il avait gte" assez 
heureux pour en obtenir deux squelettes presque complets qui ont decide" la 
question pour tonjours (p. 261). 

The Museum in the State House 
In 1802 the state legislature moved to Lancaster. This left the 
State House (Independence Hall) vacant. Peale petitioned the legis- 



PEALE'S MUSEUM 



229 



lature and was allowed to occupy the building as long as he allowed 
persons to pass through the hall into the State House Garden. His 
son Rembrandt used the east room on the first floor as his studio, 
while the entire second floor and tower was given up to the use of the 
museum. 

The best picture that we have of the museum in Independence Hall 
is found in a letter written by the late George Escol Sellers, of Chat- 
tanooga, Tenn., a grandson of Peale, who as a boy and a young man 
spent much of his time in the museum, and who subsequently became 
one of its trustees. The period referred to in this letter is about 1820- 
1824, twelve years or more after Charles Willson Peale ceased to take 
an active part in the management, Mr. Rubens Peale being in control. 
There is very little evidence that much of scientific value was added 
after the father retired, except, perhaps, the collections of Major Long's 
expedition to the Rocky Mountains, and Dr. Harlan's anatomical and 
craniological preparations. 

Mr. Sellers, in describing the arrangement of the hall writes: 

I will go with you up the stairs and try to lead you through the Museum 
rooms. At the top of the stairs is a small window where tickets to the Museum 
are sold. We enter a great door from the landing and find ourselves in what 
was called the hall lecture room. The bench seats rose all around at such an 
angle that the two or three upper seats crossed the passage into the Quadruped 
Room at sufficient height to give headway under them. To the right is a door 
that is worthy of consideration. (This door leads into the* Quadruped Room, 
the south-west Room of the State House.) On the west end of the room, the 



MAffnorM 
Tioon 




Qua d* u pt i> 
"Room 



Bird Co. ses - Se reral i iers "h iih-Fbr1ratt& over Ttem 



Long 

Jitsrcts 



/foot? 

t*iiKT* l%,Fo iSil s t etc 



CrfaiScai 

Buffalo 
Etc 



l*««l 



h± pbnw m, niarii .fn .m m~ 



Ground plan of Peale' s Museum in Independence Hall about 1821 to 1826. 
From a diagram drawn by Mr. George Escol Sellers, from memory. 



2 3 o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

floor was raised about 1 foot and on it stood the great seal, Buffalo, Elk, Moose, 
Bears, etc., but most attractive to country folk was a 5 legged cow giving milk 
to a 2 headed calf. As we turn to the passage into the long room, the great 
case at our right hand is the wolf case. The great gray wolf with bloody fangs 
is rending a lamb, whose papier-mache entrails from the skilled and realistic 
hands of Uncle Rubens bulge out so naturally that they appear living and in 
motion. The opposite case was of particular interest to children. Smaller 
animals crowd the cases that fill this room. 

Of the Long Room Peale himself has perhaps given us the best 
account. 6 He writes : 

For instruction to those who wish to know the Linnean classification of 
Birds on the side of the door entering the Long Room, is a large frame con- 
taining the several orders and genera of Birds with the characters of each. 
This Long Room has an elegant appearance. Its length is 100 feet. It is hand- 
some because of its regularity of the numerous glass cases, which are neat 
without being gaudy and the catalogue in the frames makes a beautiful division 
covering each of the shelves extending from end to end of the room. There are 
9 windows opposite, between them projecting are partitions to hold the cases 
of insects and also cases for minerals and fossils. 

Over the center window is a neat well tuned organ for the use of such 
visitors that understand music. Under the orchestra are microscopes for show- 
ing Insects and other subjects to advantage. 

Over the Bird cases are two rows of portraits of Distinguished Personages 
in gilt frames extending almost the whole length of the room. They are orig- 
inal portraits painted from life by C. W. J^eale and his son Remb 1 At each 
end of the room are also some portraits. The most conspicuous being those of 
General Washington and his lady, which are the last they sat for C. W. Peale. 

To complete the description of the museum we return to Mr. 
Sellers' letter: 

If the day be chilly, the settees are around the great six plate wood burning 
stove. This was a very attractive feature. This Long Room was a promenade 
to show off finery, gay bonnets and cashmere shawls. Most of the more modern 
paintings and the portraits painted by Uncle Rembrandt when in Europe for 
the Museum were in the Mammoth Room. 

, On entering this room in the corner case was a wax figure of Col. Lewis 
or Clark, I do not remember which, in a complete Indian costume. The cases 
of Indians and their dresses and implements were very attractive. Back of the 
skeleton of the Mammoth at the end of the room was a large, what might be 
called, historical painting showing the tread wheels and other appliances that 
were used to pump out the morass while the bones were being exhumed. In 
fact this and a smaller painting gave a graphic history. 

The marine room, up the lobby stairs, better known as the anatomical 
room was really a gruesome room in spite of its end cases of Monkeys at work. 
There was shown the smith, the carpenter, the cooper and even the shoe maker, 
a shoe between his knees, his arms akimbo as if drawing tight his waxed ends, 
a grin from ear to ear. The side cases were shallow and filled with snakes 
long and coiled. One snake was charming a stuffed bird with its bead eyes. 
One was in the act of swallowing a toad or frog with the hind quarters pro- 
jecting from the mouth. There were also lizards big and little. Among the 
various cases was one filled with real anatomical preparations, including a 

•See footnote, p. 231. 



PEALWS MUSEUM 231 

ghastly tatooed head, a manufactured South American Mermaid — half fish and 
half hairless dried monkey — , innumerable alcoholic preparations, also an 
embryo shelf with animal and human foetuses. 

In 1805 Peale started to write a book called " A Walk with a Friend 
to the Philadelphia Museum." 7 This seems never to have been finished 
and was never published. A comparison of the above account of Mr. 
Sellers with that of Peale shows that on the whole the same specimens 
were on exhibition as in the days that Mr. Sellers recorded; never- 
theless there was a lack of sensational attractions in 1805. As an 
instance of this may be mentioned the fact that the monkeys at work 
were not added until 1809, a year after Peale retired to his German- 
town farm. The two-headed calf was not added for some years after 
that. 

In "A Walk with a Friend" Peale writes about the quadruped 
room, and it is of interest in relation to modern methods of taxidermy : 

The door opens to us and behold a multitude of animals fills the room on 
every side. They seem to be in characteristic attitudes; the Lama of South 
America is rearing up in the act of spitting through the fissure of his upper 

up — 

The muscles of this as well as many of these quadrupeds are so well repre- 
sented that painters might take them for models and all is so well preserved 
that no insects can destroy them; a thing too generally the case in other 
museums. 

The Proprietor has invented a mode of mounting them which I believe was 
never practised before. As the muscles can not be preserved to keep their 
natural plumpness nor can it be expected that the most careful operator can 
stuff skins in the common way to preserve perfectly the true form more espe- 
cially of animals that have not an abundance of hair or fur — the limbs of these 
have been carved in wood; closely imitating the form after the skins had been 
taken off; giving swell to the muscles proportional to their action so that, in 
fact, they are statues of animals with the real skin to cover them — a stupendous 
labour originating from and effected by an enthusiastic desire of exhibiting a 
series of real forms as they exist in nature. . . . 

Besides the methods of taxidermy as practised by Peale, there was 
another equally striking innovation. We have seen that there was a 
large frame illustrating Linnaeus's classification of birds. To aid the 
inquiring visitor much information of general interest was contained in 
similar frames. In the Mammoth Room on the wall beside the skeleton 
of the Mastodon, Rembrandt Peale's " Historical Disquisition on the 
Mammoth " was framed page by page. By reading this account and by 
referring to the skeleton and to the paintings Peale intended that his 
visitors should have the opportunity of becoming well informed. These 
were points the importance ©f which were emphasized by Brown Goode 8 
many years afterward. 

1 Manuscript in the Pennsylvania Historical Society. 

• See Brown Goode, " Museum History and Museums of History," 1889, 
p. 267. 



232 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

As an attraction, one winter when the attendance was lbw, Peale 
installed in one corner of the hall a man to cut silhouettes by a new 
method. In one year 8,880 people carried away likenesses of them- 
selves. After he retired, but particularly after his death, under the 
direction of his sons this precedent that Peale himself established of 
having attractions was increased, so that in its last years the institu- 
tion became little more than a dime museum. 

In the library of the Pennsylvania Historical Society there is a 
large blank book bound in whole calf entitled " Memoranda of the 
Philadelphia Museum/' This book contains a record of the donations, 
accessions and exchanges between the years 1803 and 1837. An im- 
pression that one gets from reviewing its pages is that of the enormous 
amount of valueless material presented by travelers from Europe and 
from farmers up in the state. This, however, is a common feature of 
all museums; nothing offered must be refused, but, if of no value, 
will find its way to the official rubbish heap. 

The library of the museum must have been of exceeding value. 
Every page records books bought or books received in exchange. As an 
exchange for specimens sent to France the museum received Buffon's 
works in five volumes. The following is a sample page showing the 
type of entry : 

Page 12 
1806 A Tropic Bird, 2 Frigates, 3 Eels which are said to wound very severe 

Feb. 17. and to attack people. Ship Geo. c Washington by Capt. B Farris. 

The natural history of British Insects with colored plates Vol. 1st 
— octavo, — John Armond. 
19. Fossil shell from Kentucky, they are found from I foot to 50 feet 
below the surface of the earth in limestone. W. Chambers. 
2 pieces hog skin, one inch and i in thickness, from the shoulder. 
It was shot on the banks of the Ohio, in the spring of 1793 — William 
Chambers. 
21. The head of the Petrel F. V. Riviere. 
21. Phaeton Athireus or tropic bird, female, F. V. Riviere. 

Lacerta Chamaon, Chameleon, Isle of France — Cap. n Farris. 

21. Skeleton of a Porcellaria Petrel. Samuel Coates. 

22. The Trumpet Fish from S. America — Peter Solee 

An Experimental Dissertation on the Rhus Vernix, Rhus Rodicans 
and Rhus Globrum commonly known in Penn' by the names Poison 
ash, Poison-vine, and common Sumach by Tho" Horsfield. 
An Inaugural Dissertation on the warm Bath by Hen. Wil™ Lockette. 
24. Viverra nasua Coata Mondi (alive) from South America Joseph 
Baker. 

His Last Years 

Peale's early training and natural ingenuity enabled him to turn his 
hand to anything; this quality has been exaggerated by his biographers 
and mere incidents pointed to as periods in his career. 

Peale's period of senescence may be said to date from the time he 



PEALE'S MUSEUM 233 

resigned the active management of the museum and moved to his 
" Belfield " place, at Germantown. With him old age was robbed of its 
infirmities. Temperate habits, outdoor exercise and constant employ- 
ment of mind and body, were responsible, according to his own theories, 9 
for the vigor that he enjoyed at eighty. He was eighty-three when he 
painted without his glasses a full-length portrait of himself by order of 
the trustees of the museum. This is the portrait that now hangs in the 
Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, an institution of which he was 
the chief founder. These latter years of his life were not marked by 
reduced activities, but by more varied occupations. His attempts to 
make porcelain teeth and similar undertakings have been unduely 
emphasized. Undoubtedly it is the memory of this period that has led 
many of his biographers to refer to him asa" jack of all trades." 

Later History of Museum 
It may be interesting to outline briefly the later history of the 
museum and the fate of its collections. 

In the first decade of the nineteenth century the value of the col- 
lections was from an educational point of view equal to those of the 
famous museums of Europe. At this time, with a view to its preserva- 
tion and to carry out a cherished hope, Peale offered it to the govern- 
ment at Washington to form the nucleus of a National Museum. Ac- 
cording to Jeffersonian simplicity it was not in the province of the 
government to father institutions not directly connected with govern- 
ment, so the offer was refused. 

In 1816 the city purchased the State House from the state; and, 
at once, raised the rent on Peale from $400 to $2,000. As Peale could 
not pay so much, a compromise was made for $1,200. The museum 
was run at a loss for three years, at the end of which time Peale 
induced councils to lower the rent to $600. About this time Peale 
offered the museum to the city on condition that they would agree to 
house, add to it, and promise not to sell any part of it except duplica- 
tions. The city refused to accept the gift. 

In 1821 the museum took another lease of life, and its aged pro- 
prietor, still fearing that it would become divided on his death, had it 
incorporated with five trustees, all, except one, members of his family. 
As organized, four professors were appointed to give lectures in Natural 
History, viz. : 

In mineralogy, Dr. Gerard Troost. 

In zoology, Thomas Say. 

In comparative anatomy, Dr. Richard Harlan. 

In physiology, Dr. John Godman. 

Conservator in zoology, Titian Peale. 

•"An Epistle to a Friend on the Means of Preserving Health, Promoting 
Happiness, etc.," 8vo, Philadelphia, 1803, 48 pp., by C. W. Peale. 



234 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

The publishing of a journal was undertaken which perished after 
the appearance of the first number. 

In 1827 Charles Willson Peale died and the next year the museum 
moved into the Arcade on Chestnut Street above Sixth Street., on the 
north side. In 1835, the stock of the company was increased from 
$100,000 to $400,000 and a magnificent building was started at Ninth 
and Sansom on the site of the present Continental Hotel. Three years 
later the collections were moved from the Arcade into their new home. 

Up to this time the museum had bjeen very prosperous financially 
and had become largely a money-making concern. In 1841 the failure 
of the United States Bank carried down the Museum Company. The 
receivers of the bank foreclosed on the building, which was soon sold at 
auction. By paying rent the Museum Company was allowed by the 
new owner to occupy the building. In the hard times that followed, 
the Museum Company attempted to keep its head above water by 
vaudeville attractions and concerts. Thus the museum was thrown 
into direct competition with the dime museum as typified by Barnum's 
Museums. The directors of the company were not equal to competition 
with the trained showman. When, in 1846, the end came, the col- 
lections were sold at auction, the pictures going all over the country; 
yet one third subsequently came back to Independence Hall. 

An attempt was made to keep the Natural History collections 
together; and until 1850 they were exhibited at Masonic Hall, but not 
by the Peales. At that time they were sold by the sheriff and bought 
for five or six thousand dollars by P. T. Barnum and his associate, 
Moses Kimball. They were divided, half going to the Boston Museum 
and half going to Barnum's American Museum, in New York. 10 
Legend has it that the mastodon went to this latter place and was 
destroyed when, in 1865, the American Museum burned. Since its 
whereabouts 11 was not known in 1852 when Warren wrote his mono- 
graph, it is possible that it was burned in the fire that destroyed, in 
1851, Barnum's Philadelphia Museum. If this be the case it would 
seem to indicate that Barnum did not take all his share of the speci- 
mens to New York as he said he did. In either case it was destroyed. 

In 1900 the Boston Museum broke up, and the specimens were pre- 
sented to the Boston Society of Natural History, where about 1,300 of 
the birds now are. There is nothing to indicate that any specimens 
were added to the collections after they were removed from the Phila- 
delphia Museum. 

10 P. T. Barnum, " How I Made Millions "; the life of P. T. Barnum, written 
by himself. 

"The bones mentioned by Warren as being exhibited in Paris belong, I 
judge, to a mass of bones of several animals which were found at Big Bone Lick. 
An attempt was made to sell them to Peale. As they were from several animals 
he refused to buy them. Cf. "The Navigator," Pittsburg, 1811, 7th edition, 
p. 117. 



PEALE'S MUSEUM 235 

The second mastodon found in 1801 has had a more varied history. 
In 1803 Kembrandt Peale and his brother Rubens carried it to Eng- 
land. It was exhibited before the Royal Society. While in London, 
Rembrandt Peale wrote his " Historical Disquisition on the Mammoth." 
An attempt to sell the skeleton to Napoleon was undertaken, but war 
broke out with England which prevented the deal being completed. 
Peak's sons brought it back to this country and they made a southern 
trip, exhibiting the mastodon as far south as Charleston. Later, in 
1813, Rembrandt started a museum in Baltimore 12 on similar lines 
to that of his father's in Philadelphia. In this museum the mastodon 
found a home. This became later the Baltimore Museum, from which 
in 1846 it was purchased by Dr. Warren and taken to Boston for 
comparison with his very perfect skeleton and placed in the Warren 
Museum on Beacon Hill. With Warren's mastodon it was bought from 
the Warren estate by J. P. Morgan and is now in the American Museum 
of Natural History in New York, and is called the Baltimore mastodon. 
This is all. that is known of the fate of the collections of Peale's 
Museum. 

A point that has been particularly confusing to historians is the fact 
that Peale's Museums were located in both New York and Baltimore. 
In this connection it will become necessary to refer briefly to Peale's 
sons. 

In the last decade of the eighteenth century Rubens Peale and his 
brother Rembrandt attempted to found in Baltimore a museum with 
some duplicate specimens given them by their father. This museum 
was discontinued after one year. 

In 1813, however, Rembrandt Peale, who was a better artist than his 
father, but was less of a naturalist, moved to Baltimore and in the 
following year opened a museum and art gallery on Holliday Street in 
a building that afterward became the Baltimore City Hall. The 
museum finally passed out of his hands, becoming the Baltimore 
Museum, which was bought by Barnum in 1845. In the early twenties 
Rembrandt opened a museum in New York, on Broadway, opposite the 
City Hall. This museum passed out of his hands into that of a stock 
company, which, after trying to compete with Barnum's American 
Museum, was obliged to sell out to the great showman in 1842. 

When Charles Willson Peale retired, he placed his son Rubens in his 
place as director of the Philadelphia Museum with the secret hope that 
with the opportunities at his disposal he would become a naturalist 
of world-wide reputation. However, Reubens was apparently not much 
of a naturalist, but during the years that he was director he devoted 
himself to making the museum self-supporting rather than increasing 
the value of its collections. For a while, it would seem about 1841, at 

" Scharf, " History of Baltimore." 



236 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

the call of the directors of the New York Museum, he became manager 
of it. 

The sons of Peale who had real tastes in zoology were both of the 
name of Titian. Titian Peale, by Charles Willson's first wife, was 
becoming a naturalist of great promise and of great help to his father, 
when he died at the age of eighteen. In memory of this son Peale 
named a child by his second wife Titian. This Titian became an or- 
nithologist 13 of some distinction, and was conservator of the collections 
of the Philadelphia Museum for many years. 

Peale as a Museum Director 
As we have seen, Charles Willson Peale was an enthusiastic col- 
lector. The object of these collections was the education of the public. 
Peale's ideas as to the function of museums are best illustrated by some 
extracts from a lecture introductory to a series of forty that he de- 
livered in the winter of 1800-1801. 14 He wrote that a museum should 
teach the economic use of animals and plants. Says Peale : 

A farmer ought to know what reptiles best aid and protect the fruit of his 
labors, and not through ignorance destroy such as feed on animals more de- 
structive to his grain and fruits; nor possess antipathies to those that he 
ought to cherish. 

A museum should exert a moral influence in the community. Said 
the lecturer: 

An instance of this is in the memory of many of my hearers. The chiefs 
of several nations of Indians who had an hereditary enmity, happened to meet 
unexpectedly in the museum in 1796; they regarded themselves with consider- 
able emotion which in some degree subsided when, by their interpreters, they 
were informed, that each party, ignorant of the intention of the other, had 
come merely to view the museum. Never having met before, but in the field of 
battle, . . . now for the first time finding themselves at peace surrounded by 
a scene calculated to inspire the most perfect harmony, the first suggestion was 
that as men, they were of the same species and ought forever to bury the 
hatchet of war. After leaving the museum they formed a treaty. At the 
request of the Secretary of War, I supplied them with a room. They heard a 
speech written by General Washington recommending peace. Their orators 
spoke, and they departed friends. 

After giving a brief account of the history of the museums in the 
world, from the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, he describes his ideal 
museum. Says he : 

First let us suppose we have before us a spacious building ... in which 
are arranged all the various animals of this vast continent and all other 
countries. Let us suppose them classically arranged so that the mind may not 
be confused and distracted in viewing and studying such a vast multitude of 
objects. Here should be no duplicates and only the varieties of each species, all 

"See Stone, Witmer. Aick, 1899, Vol. XVI., pp. 100-177. 
14 See "Discourse Introductory to a Course of Lectures, etc.," 1800, C. 
W. Peale. 



PEALE'S MUSEUM 237 

placed in the most conspicuous point of light to be seen to the best advantage, 
without being handled. Besides a classical catalogue descriptive of every article 
in so extensive a museum, there ought also to be a library consisting of the 
writings of the best authors on natural history from Aristotle down to the 
present time. A few persons well acquainted with the methods of preserving 
subjects should be continually employed. Gentlemen of talent should be allowed 
to deliver lectures in the several branches of natural history. ... It would 
readily be conceived that some person should have the superintendence of the 
museum, under whose directions every addition should be made and the care of 
everything should rest with him. . . . 

Parts of this lecture and the one delivered in the previous winter in 
" the hall of the University of Pennsylvania," as an introduction to a 
course of twenty-seven, 16 remind one amazingly of certain portions of 
the addresses of Sir William Flower 16 and Brown Goode. 17 

Some of the characteristic features of Peale's Museum might be 
summarized as follows : 

1. Its collections were educational rather than scientific. 

2. The idea of indicating the natural environment with the mounted 
specimen, the idea of framing the pages of books (recommended also 
by Brown Goode), the idea of having diagrams and popular descriptions 
of the specimens beside the specimens themselves, and the idea of 
placing those of the 4,000 insects that were too small to be easily 
observed by the naked eye under permanent simple and compound 
microscopes, and his methods of taxidermy, all of which approach ihe 
arrangement of modern museums of natural history. 

3. Although Peale was not the first to give lectures in natural 
history in this country, yet he was the first to give lectures illustrated 
by specimens. 

The Influence of the Museum 
The influence of the museum was wide-spread, but lay not in the 
direction that the founder had hoped. A perusal of the newspapers of 
the first decade of the nineteenth century will show that by this time 
there were a number of museums in every city. They show also that 
these museums were copied from Peale's Museum, in that they nearly 
always had a gallery of portraits of heroes in connection with a col- 
lection of curiosities. By the first quarter of the century, all had added 
concerts as an additional attraction. It was not long before the concert 
developed into a variety theater, although in the case of the Boston 
Museum legitimate drama was given. In the middle of the century 
these museums reached their greatest development, such as it was, while 
Peale's Museum became but a memory. Barnum's American Museum 

""Introduction to a Course of Lectures in Natural History," Philadel- 
phia, 1800. 

19 Flower, William Henry, " Essays on Museums," 1898. 

" Brown Goode. " Museum History and the Museums of History," American 
Historical Association, 1888, p. 63. 



238 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

marked the climax. When in 1902 the Boston Museum ceased to exist, 
this event marked the end of the last museum that obviously was sug- 
gested by the Peale Museum, although there are a few dime museums 
of later date that have managed to survive. 

The cause of the fall of these museums lies in the fact that their 
place has been filled by natural history museums and zoological gardens 
which teach true natural history in place of the fake natural history of 
the dime museum. Although Peale's Museum seems to us to-day a 
very primitive affair, yet, considering the time when it was founded, the 
institution must be looked upon in a different light. Then there was 
no other collection of any kind in the country that could be called 
a museum. Not having any precedent of museum arrangement, the 
whole evolution was independent. 

The museums of Europe exerted some influence, of course, on its 
development, but they were so far away that the problems that cropped 
up from time to time had to be solved independently. This accounts 
of course, for the many original features that were presented. 

The importance of Peale's Museum has been largely discredited, 
owing to the impression left of its latter days, long after its founder's 
death. One forgets its positive value and influence when it was directed 
by his energy and intelligent effort. In the decade of 1800-1810 
travelers compare the quality of its collections with the museums on 
the other side of the ocean. After Peale's retirement from its active 
direction, the museum ceased practically to grow, while those founded 
much later began their wonderful development. 

Although Peale helped but little to advance our scientific knowl- 
edge by the collection of facts, yet to him should be given the credit of 
organizing what was for awhile a great museum and enabling thousands 
of people to become acquainted with the appearance and the habits of 
many animals of this and other countries. 



INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENTS 239 



THE THEORY OF INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT 1 

By Pbofessob FRANK R. LILLIE 

UNIVERSITY OP CHICAGO 

ORGANIC development presents two aspects : that of the individual 
and that of the race, ontogeny and phylogeny (evolution). These 
are not two separate and distinct series of phenomena ; on the one 
han,d, the individual development is to a certain extent a record of 
the past history of the race, and the promise of future racial develop- 
ment; on the other hand, evolution is not a series of completed indi- 
viduals but a series of individual life, histories ; for the only road from 
one generation to the next is by way of a complete life history. Indi- 
vidual development is, therefore, not something distinct from evolution ; 
it is a part of the process of evolution itself; the development of the 
individual is a chapter in the history of the race. 

The development of the individual may be pictured as a steadily 
broadening stream that takes its source in the fertilized ovum and 
flows on until death. In this analogy the individual would be repre- 
sented as a cross-section of the stream at whatever stage we were 
examining. Though such an analogy limps, inasmuch as individual 
development is never before us as a unit, as a stream may be conceived 
to be, and can indeed be said to exist only as the successive cross- 
sections (its past having disappeared and its future yet unborn), never- 
theless, it represents very well the steady, unbroken progress of de- 
velopment from the ovum to old age. There may be crises in the 
development of the individual, as, for instance, when the chick leaves 
the egg or the pullet lays its first egg, but there are no breaks in its 
continuity. Successive generations may be pictured as new streams, 
each taking its source from a particle — a germ cell — from some cross- 
section of the preceding generation; and evolution may be represented 
by placing the new source at a different level than the original. For 
evolution studies we compare cross-sections of different developmental 
streams (generations) at comparable distances from the sources, and 
for evolutionary explanation we must examine the entire series of 
processes involved in the origin of the new source and in the conditions 
and inherent character of the new developmental stream. 

We can not be said to have actual experience of any other form 

of development than individual development; evolution or racial de- 

*One of the series of Darwin Anniversary addresses given under the 

auspices of the Biological Club of the University of Chicago, February 1 to 

March 18, 1909.' 



2 4 o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

velopment is an inference from innumerable facts and se.'ies of phe- 
nomena, all of which are bound up together and rendered intelligible 
by the theory of common descent. We therefore find that the founders 
of theories of evolution turn to individual development as the court 
of last. resort, as the place where evolution may be detected in actual 
process. For here is found the link that binds successive generations, 
here variations arise, whether they be mutations or of the ordinary 
fluctuating kind, whether they be germinal or acquired; here in the 
individual life history the Lamarckian must look for the reflection of 
the experiences of the individual back upon the germ; here the ad- 
herents of orthogenesis must find their crucial evidence. 

In his theory of natural selection Darwin accepted as given the 
data of individual development. But he saw clearly that the funda- 
mental phenomena of heredity and variation had their seat in the 
individual development, and he experienced the need of framing a 
conception that would bind together the phenomena of hybridization, 
the various forms of variation, atavism, telegony, regeneration, inheri- 
tance of acquired characters and the like ; and in his volumes on " Ani- 
mals and Plants under Domestication " he framed the provisional 
hypothesis of pangenesis to include them all. I shall not attempt to 
present the details of this theory, but I may be permitted to say that, 
as a matter of logical arrangement of the assumed data, under the 
circumstances of existing biological conceptions and of the state of 
knowledge of the time, the theory was well worthy of its illustrious 
founder. In its way, it was as original as the theory of natural selec- 
tion, though some of its fundamental ideas had certainly been antici- 
pated by previous writers. 

Nor shall I attempt a critical estimate of the value of the theory 
in the history of science; but I may be permitted to call attention to 
certain features. In the first place, the theory was overburdened with 
certain unnecessary conceptions such as inheritance of acquired char- 
acters, atavism and telegony. The elimination of these conceptions 
immensely simplifies the theory of individual development. In the 
second place, it rested upon a fundamental conception, that of repre- 
sentative particles, which amounts to a denial of the reality of indi- 
vidual development. And in the third place, it assumed certain biolog- 
ical processes — the existence of specific vital particles of ultramicro- 
scopic dimensions, their radiation from parent cells, and their aggrega- 
tion in other specific cells in a definite architectural pattern — for which 
there is not only entire absence of evidence, but which are wholly 
inconsistent with the known facts of cellular physiology. For these 
reasons the theory had only provisional importance, as indeed Darwin 
recognized in naming it the provisional hypothesis of pangenesis. 

The determinant hypothesis of Weismann, contained in his theory 



INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT 241 

of the germ-plasm, includes the assumptions of the pangenesis hypoth- 
esis, with those eliminated that were made necessary by the conception 
of the inheritance of acquired characters. For Weismann's gemmules, 
or determinants, the assumption of somatic origin was unnecessary, 
and thus, as Professor Whitman states, the entire centripetal migration 
of Darwin's theory was eliminated, but the entire centrifugal process 
was retained. The origin of every character of the individual was 
explained in the Weismannian theory, as in the Darwinian theory, by 
the unfolding (it can not be called development) of representative 
particles. Nevertheless, the theory of the germ-plasm played an im- 
portant role in the development of biological knowledge, for it framed 
a set of ideas in a manner sufficiently logical and definite to serve as 
veritable working hypotheses or bases of attack. The immense effect 
of Weismann's writings on the theory of individual development should 
not be underestimated. 

Physiology op Development 

The theories of individual development that we have mentioned 
bear all the marks of provisional or formal hypotheses. Although 
extremely ingenious and logical, they are based only in small part on 
analysis of the actual processes and they offer no real explanation of the 
phenomena themselves; for they really include all the elemental phe- 
nomena and merely sum them up ; they are definitions that include the 
matter to be defined ; they amount to a denial of the reality of individ- 
ual development as truly as did the preformation theories of the 
eighteenth century. 

As a series of processes occurring in nature and accessible to experi- 
ence, the development of the individual is capable of resolution into 
simpler biological processes, and these presumably into physico-chemical 
events in the usual sense. All attempts to make such analyses come 
under the head of Physiology of Development; and this plan of 
attack on the problems of individual development, known in Germany 
as developmental mechanics, is one of the most actively pursued lines 
of biological investigation at the present time. Physiology of Develop- 
ment deals primarily with specific problems, and the results constitute 
a critical basis for the appreciation of general theories of both indi- 
vidual and racial development. We shall examine some results and 
principles of these studies, and consider their application to some 
theories of heredity and evolution. 

1. Embryonic Primordia and the Law of Genetic Restriction. — 
In the course of development the most general features of organization 
arise first, and those that are successively less general in the order of 
their specialization. Thus the directions of symmetry of the future 
organism — the oral and aboral surfaces, right and left sides, anterior 

vol. lxxv.— 16. 



242 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

and posterior ends — are the earliest recognizable features of organiza- 
tion of bilateral animals, and they appear while the germ is still uni- 
cellular. The distinction between outer, intermediate and internal 
organs next makes its appearance, each at first as a single tissue. The 
outer tissue then separates into an epidermal and a nervous tissue, the 
inner tissue into the intestinal and yolk-sac epithelium, the middle 
tissue into muscle-forming tissue, connective tissue, skeleton-forming 
tissue, blood-forming tissue, excretory tissue, peritoneal tissue, etc. 

For every structure, therefore, there is a period of emergence from 
something more general. The earliest discernible germ of any part or 
organ may be called its primordium. In this sense the ovum is the 
primordium of the individual, the primitive outer tissue the primordium 
of all structures of the skin and nervous system, the primitive inner 
layer of the intestine and all structures connected with it, etc. Pri- 
mordia are, therefore, of all grades, and each arises from a primordium 
of a higher grade of generality. 

The emergence of a primordium involves a limitation in two 
directions: (1) it is itself limited in a positive fashion by being re- 
stricted to a definite line of differentiation more special than the 
primordium from which it sprang, and (2) the latter is limited in a 
negative way by losing the capacity for producing another primordium 
of exactly the same sort. The advance of differentiation sets a limit, 
in the manners indicated, to subsequent differentiation, a principle 
that has been designated by Minot the law of genetic restriction. This 
in a merely descriptive way is one of the general laws of individual 
development, and in it is involved the explanation of many important 
data in the fields of physiology and pathology. 

But, though primordia are thus restricted, they nevertheless have 
the very important property of subdivision, in many cases at least, 
each part retaining the qualities of the whole. Thus, for instance, in 
some animals two or several complete embryos may arise from parts 
of one ovum. Similarly, two or more limbs may be produced in some 
forms by subdividing a limb bud. Thus frogs with six hind legs have 
been produced by Gustav Tornier by the simple process of dividing 
the primordia of the hind legs with a snip of the scissors, in which case 
he found that on each side one part of the primordium produced a com- 
plete pair of legs and the other the normal leg of that side. This 
capacity for subdivision of primordia explains large classes of patho- 
logical facts — at the same time it furnishes a problem to the student 
of the physiology of development which has proved a serious stumbling 
block. 

2. Principle of Organization. — I have already indicated the exist- 
ence of direction and localization in the primordial germ of the 
individual, the unsegmented ovum; the ovum, as we say, is polarized, 



INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT 243 

and, not only so, but, in bilateral animals, it is bilaterally symmetrical. 
This is not usually indicated in the form of the ovum, which is typically 
spherical, but in the disposition and developmental value of its parts. 
Here we have one of the most fundamental and least comprehended 
f acts in embryology. It has, moreover, been shown that this property 
of direction and localization resides in the homogeneous, transparent, 
semifluid matrix that suspends all the visible particles of the proto- 
plasm of the egg. It is probable that primordia of all grades possess 
similar properties, and, if this is so, we have a principle that goes far 
to explain the orderly localization of processes in morphogenesis. 

This principle is not farther analyzable at present ;imt, as it may be 
found intact in parts of primordia no less than in the whole, it prob- 
ably rests on a molecular basis. The most ready analogy in simpler 
phenomena is that of crystallization. The study of fluid crystals has 
furnished us examples of inorganic molecular aggregates in which 
direction and localization are given in the whole and also reappear 
rapidly in the parts when the whole is subdivided. 

3. The Role of Cell-division in Development. — The individual or- 
ganism begins as a single cell, from which all cells of the developed 
organism trace their lineage by the process of cell-division. This has 
been regarded as one of the most fundamental factors of the individual 
development in the theories of Weismann, Hertwig and others. But 
important as the process of cell-division undoubtably is in development, 
I believe that it is impossible to ascribe to it in principle more than an 
indirect effect: Considerable complexity of development is possible 
among Protozoa, whose body is unicellular, and some ova may carry 
out under experimental conditions a considerable part of the early 
development without a single cell-division. Moreover, the same kind 
of differentiated structure may be composed of one cell or of many, 
or of variable numbers of cells. 

The physiological value of cell-division is no different in principle 
in developing than in functioning tissues (using these terms in the 
usual sense). The general law of relative reduction of surface in 
proportion to increasing mass imposes a size limit on cells, which can 
be regulated only by cell-division; an internal principle of regulation 
of cell-size has also been stated by R. Hertwig and Boveri, viz., a cer- 
tain relationship characteristic of each species between the amounts 
of nuclear and cytoplasmic matters, so that increase of initial volume 
of the former involves increase of the latter, and vice versa. Corre- 
sponding to these principles, we find that individuals of different sizes 
of the same species vary not in the size, but in the number of the cells ; 
and this is regulated by variation in the number of cell-divisions in 
different individuals. 

Cell-division must necessarily, therefore, have an immense func- 



244 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

tional significance in development, owing to the principle of relation 
of functional area to mass. It has also another very important func- 
tion as an isolating factor. The localizations that arise, owing to the 
organization process of which we have spoken, are rendered relatively 
stable and permanent by the formation of cell-walls. Thus the ele- 
ments of the mosaic are isolated, and each isolated part has the oppor- 
tunity to grow into a new mosaic. Cell-division is thus an important 
factor in progressive differentiation, not as a cause, but as a means. 

4. Environment. — Environment must be conceived in a somewhat 
broader sense than usual in considering the individual development. 
The developing embryo has an environment in the usual sense, con- 
sisting of all those external conditions that surround it, some of which 
enter into its development. But in addition to this extra-organic en- 
vironment there is an intra-organic one; the developing embryo is 
not merely a unit on which an extra-organic environment operates, 
but it is a living mosaic, each element of which may conceivably enter 
into the development of any other in the sense of being a factor in the 
process. Each part of the embryo, therefore, has an intra-organic 
environment consisting of all the other parts, 6ome of which constitute 
relatively immediate environmental factors, others relatively re- 
mote ones. 

To illustrate: nerves arise in the embryo from certain centers and 
grow out in the embryonic tissues, much as roots grow out in the soil ; 
the muscles arise separately and the nerves grow to them and make the 
proper connections. Is this due to an innate tendency of each nerve 
to grow in particular paths and branch according to definite laws, or, 
on the other hand, is it due to a directive stimulus exerted on the 
growing nerve by developing muscle tissue? The answer can be given 
only by a suitable experiment : If an abnormal innervation area were 
brought into the field of growth of a developing nerve, would the nerve 
entering the abnormal area follow its normal mode of branching, or 
the one characteristic of the normal nerves of the transposed area? 
To be specific : the bud of a leg of a tadpole that has as yet no nerves 
may be transplanted to any region of the body (Braus and Harrison), 
and it develops as a leg; but it receives its innervation from the nerves 
of the region to which it has been transplanted, and the mode of 
branching of the nerve is that of the leg nerves. We may generalize 
this statement by saying that any nerve may be made to depart from 
its normal mode of branching and to branch like leg nerves, by bringing 
a leg bud into its innervation area at the time that the nerve is still 
growing. 

It will be seen that if this is generally true, the constancy of 
distribution of peripheral nerves is not due to the transmission of 
nerve-branching determinants from generation to generation, but is a 
function of the intra-organic environment in each generation. 



INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT 245 

The case of the determination of nerve-branching by intra-organic 
relations does not by any means stand alone. The same principle 
undoubtedly holds for the development of the blood-vessels, which 
grow along paths determined by the arrangement of organs and tissues 
and not according to a predetermined law given in the blood-vessels 
themselves. Color patterns have been shown in some cases to be 
determined by intra-organic variable relations, as in Loeb's experiments 
on the determination of the color pattern of the yolk-sac of a fish, which 
he demonstrated to be due to the positive attraction of the circulating 
blood for migratory cells that bear pigment. The development of any 
color pattern was therefore dependent upon blood-circulation, and the 
form of the pattern upon the pattern of the blood-vessels. The 
primordia of the eye or the ear transplanted to strange locations in the 
embiyo induce formations in surrounding tissues that are strange to 
them and characteristic of the normal eye and ear environment. The 
origin and growth of motor nerve cells has been shown in my laboratory 
by Miss Shorey to be dependent in the chick on normal muscle develop- 
ment; so that the anatomy of the central nervous system, no less than 
the peripheral system, is dependent to some extent on the environment. 
Regeneration of lost parts is dependent for its completion to some degree 
on innervation, and the normal development of muscle tissue beyond a 
certain stage is likewise so dependent. These examples might be in- 
creased by others, which, taken together, would show that an immense 
part of what we call inheritance is inheritance of environment only, that 
is, repetition of similar developmental processes under similar condi- 
tions. The bearing of all this on the doctrine of determinants, that 
characters of the adult are represented by germs of a lesser order in the 
germ of the entire organism, is obvious. 

Many of the problems of heredity, so-called, are not capable at 
present of such resolution. We may note some instances of this kind 
and then attempt to analyze the whole matter briefly. The example 
cited of transplantation of a leg-bud is of this kind : the transplanted 
leg-bud does not develop into an arm if it be transplanted to the region 
of the arm, but into a right or left leg, as the case may be, and this is 
true no matter how early the stage at which the transplantation may 
be made. It is not possible to change the specificity of such a pri- 
mordium by any means yet employed. Moreover, there are many other 
experiments which show that the primordia of a great many structures 
are definitely specified even before they can be detected by any method 
of pure observation. Thus if a portion of the medullary plate of a 
frog embryo be cut out so as to include in the cut part the region that 
would form an eye in the course of time, and if then this piece be re- 
placed inverted, it is found that the subsequent development of this area 
is inverted, not restored to the normal, although no trace of organs 



246 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

was present at the time of the operation (Spemann). In this case, 
then, the eye appears in an abnormal position. 

Correlative Differentiation. — We have cited a series of cases that 
illustrate two apparently contradictory principles known as the principles 
of correlative differentiation and of self-differentiation. The part that 
these play in embryonic development should be analyzed. The data 
of correlative differentiation may be placed in two categories, one of 
behavior and one of metabolic relations. Considering these separately : 

Behavior. — Any case of behavior involves a stimulus, and a re- 
sponse ; these imply irritability and reaction capacity. To take a simple 
case, for instance, the contraction of a muscle, the stimulus may be 
of a variety of kinds, nervous, chemical, electrical, thermic, mechanical ; 
in any case the response is contraction. The nature of the response 
is given in the system and is limited by its reaction capacity. The 
muscle cell does not contract for one kind of stimulus and secrete in 
Tesponse to another. 

This principle is elementary in physiology and psychology and it 
must apply also in the physiology of development. It appears to me 
that it has not been sufficiently borne in mind by students of the sub- 
ject. Herbst, for instance, divides developmental stimuli into directive, 
trophic and formative. The first kind of stimulus determines the 
direction of growth or migration, and so plays an important part in 
development, a really great part illustrated in two of the cases cited, 
viz., the mode of branching of nerves, and the direction of migration 
of wandering cells. Trophic stimuli are those that affect the rate or 
:amount of growth without altering its specific character. 

The conception of formative stimuli implies, if it has any meaning 
whatever, that the nature of a developmental process is determined 
%y the nature of a stimulus. A case often cited is as follows : the two 
most fundamental parts of the eye, lens and retina, develop from two 
entirely distinct primordia, the retina from the embryonic brain and the 
lens from the epidermis. The retina first grows out from the wall 
of the brain and reaches the epidermis to which it becomes fused. The 
latter then produces a lens. Now it was shown for some amphibia, 
that, if the retina fails to reach the epidermis, no lens forms; there- 
fore, it was argued that the production of the lens is due to a formative 
stimulus exercised by the retina on the epidermis. But in some other 
cases the lens forms even if the retina be absent; which does not prove 
that it arises without stimulus, only that this specific stimulus is not 
needed. And the fact that transplanted optic vesicles stimulate lens 
formation in strange localities from the epidermis merely shows that 
this form of reaction of embryonic epidermis is widespread at this 
stage of development. 

The instance is valuable as proving that stimuli are important in 



INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT 247 

development, but useless as an example of a formative stimulus. 
Morphogenetic behavior, like behavior in other fields, is not a function 
of the stimulus as to its specificity, but it is prescribed and limited 
by the reaction capacity of the system. One example is as good as 
many. We shall not find this principle contradicted by any of the 
known data of the physiology of development. 2 

Metabolic Relations. — When we consider to what an extent the 
nature of every biological character is given in its chemical composi- 
tion, it can be readily understood that, to some authors, physiological 
chemistry should seem the complete basis of heredity. The characters 
of every tissue of the body are absolutely dependent on their chemical 
composition, and even slight variations in chemical composition may 
completely alter function, appearance or form. For such a statement 
examples are entirely unnecessary. 

The development of characters in the individual is dependent upon 
the occurrence of definite chemical reactions, upon their rate and upon 
their degree of completion. It has been shown that the law of accelera- 
tion of embryonic development in correspondence with rise of tempera- 
ture is the same in principle as the law of acceleration of chemical reac- 
tions by temperature increase. Numerous experiments have been made 
on the character of development in the absence of one or other or 
combinations of the elements normal to protoplasm, with the aim of 
determining their role in development. Herbst, for instance, has made 
a series of experiments on the development of larvae of the sea urchin 
in artificial sea waters, in the composition of which definite elements 
are wanting. He shows, for instance, that in sea water made up 
without calcium the skeleton fails to develop, and that the form of 
the larva resulting is profoundly modified from the normal. In other 
experiments the potassium or sulphur, or iron, etc., is omitted from 
the solution, and the effect on the development noted. Other experi- 
menters have maintained that the presence of specific chemical elements 
in excess has definite morphological consequences. 

As regards complex substances and their r61e in morphogenesis, but 
little is actually known. Recent results indicate that the egg con- 
tains substances of complex chemical composition which are essential 
for the development of specific parts or tissues. Thus certain experi- 
ments consist in the removal of definite parts of the egg containing 
specific materials; and in the subsequent development specific parts of 
the embryo are wanting. In other experiments, by Conklin, the trans- 
ference of definite substances from their normal location by means of 
centrifugal force is followed by the development of corresponding 

"Stimuli in the sense in which we use the word involve merely the im- 
pinging of energies on the stimulated system; if substantive additions are 
involved we have more than a mere stimulus, to the extent that substances are 
added to the system. 



248 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

specific structures in the abnormal location. These experiments 
strongly suggest, even if they do not rigorously prove, that such sub- 
stances are essential ingredients in definite developmental processes. 

I am indebted to Dr. Riddle for the following illustration: The 
various colors of mammals, such as black, brown, red, yellow, are due 
to chemical substances known as melanins. The chemistry of these 
substances starts out from a simple colorless base or chromogen, from 
which the series of colors, yellow, red, brown, black, is derived as 
successive stages of oxidation. The chromogen base is found in all 
mammals ; the color then would appear to be due to the varying powers 
of the cells of different individuals to oxidize the given base. Tornier 
has shown in his experiments on the coloration of Amphibia that the 
particular color developed is a function of nutrition, varying in the 
order of oxidation value (as was later ascertained) according to the 
degree of nutrition. The development or inheritance of color, there- 
fore, can certainly not be due to the presence of black or brown or red 
or yellow determinants in the germ, assumed for theoretical purposes 
by some students of heredity, but to a specific power of oxidation of the 
protoplasm. This faculty in its turn is no doubt capable of resolution 
into other physiological terms. 

We are only at the beginning of the study of correlations of em- 
bryonic metabolism. The role that the internal secretions of the 
embryo may play in the processes of development is practically unknown ; 
but we may expect to find here biological reactions of fundamental 
significance, especially when we consider such phenomena of the adult 
as the influence of pregnancy on the organism, the possibility of in- 
ducing lactation, with all that this implies, by injection of foetal tissues; 
the relations between the sex organs and secondary sexual characteristics 
and indeed the entire habitus of the organism ; the influence of a small 
gland like the thyroid, or the pituitary body, etc. Biochemical reaction 
runs through every phase of development and is unquestionably the 
decisive factor in the appearance of many characters of the organism. 

Self-differentiation. — The conception of self-differentiation in mor- 
phogenesis is a vague and unsatisfactory one. In a sense it is a contra- 
diction in biological terms, for assuredly environment enters into every 
biological process. On the one hand, the term covers the fact of the 
specificity of primordia, which means only a certain stability of metab- 
olism and reaction capacity; on the other hand, it may have specific 
meaning in one large class of developmental phenomena, viz., polariza- 
tion and localization. If, for instance, the term self-differentiation 
might be applied to the appearance of definite axes, angles, points and 
faces of a crystal, it would with equal propriety be applicable to the 
appearance of polarity, bilaterality, etc., the axes of embryonic develop- 
ment. But if the term should come to hold simply this restricted 
meaning, then all reason for its maintenance would be gone. 



INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT 249- 

It is not at all certain that it will be possible to reduce all the 
problems of the physiology of development to such categories as we 
have mentioned. The subject is full of unsolved problems, but so far 
as I can see no one has shown any real reason for assuming ultra- 
physical agencies in any of the events, and there is the same pragmatic 
reason for refusing to assent to such suggestions, which are made all 
too frequently, that there is in other fields of science. If we will be 
consistent, we are driven to the conclusion that the apparent simplicity 
of the germ is real, that the germ contains no gemmules, or determinants 
or other representative particles; that development is truly epigenetic,. 
a natural series of events that succeed one another according to physico- 
chemical and physiological laws; the explanation of the sequence con- 
sists simply in the discovery of each of its steps. 

Applications 

The problems of heredity and variation are included in a true 
physiological conception of the individual development; but some bio- 
logical conceptions that have more or less status and reputation are in- 
consistent with it. Such are the inheritance of acquired characters, 
atavism, and the theory of unit characters. The first is a familiar 
problem that I shall not argue anew; the second logically implies the 
presence of ancestral representative particles in the germ, which is in- 
consistent with a physiological theory of development. But it is obvious 
that the facts united under the name of atavism or reversion take their 
place naturally in a physiological theory of development, as arrests of 
development, or modification of environment, or in other ways. 

The theory of unit characters deserves more attention for it ia 
essentially a modern theory, and counts numerous adherents. This, 
conception has been most sharply formulated by De Vries in his Muta- 
tionstheorie. He says: 

The properties of the organism are constructed of units which are sharply 
distinguished from one another. These units may be united in groups, and in 
related species the same units and groups occur. Intermediates between the 
units, such as the external forms of plants and animals exhibit so abundantly,, 
are not found any more than between the molecules of chemistry. 

Bateson's allelomorphs constitute a similar conception. Such 
hypothetical elements of organization must be conceived as distinct 
from the germ on. They can be shuffled about from one generation 
to another, and can, therefore, be introduced, removed or replaced in 
the germ cells. 

It must be admitted that these conceptions fit certain facts of 
inheritance in many hybrids fairly well, but the progress of discovery 
has made necessary the installation of subsidiary hypotheses, so that 
the most recent conceptions of unit characters are becoming extremely 



2 5 o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

complex, and it would seem as though the system would soon fall of its 
own weight. The entire value of the hypothesis consists in the formal 
approximate expression of certain facts; when it is found that the 
hypothesis begins to fail even for the classes of facts for which it was 
originally intended, and that most of the known facts of development 
can not possibly be expressed in its terms, the entire conception is put 
on trial. 

The weakness in the theory of unit characters is in the use and 
conception of the term "character.' The term has been prescribed 
to us by the systematic zoologists and botanists engaged in describing 
the differences between species ; so that " character " really means any 
definable feature of an anatomical kind that differentiates species; by 
extension it also means any other differentiating features that can be 
defined. In the study of evolution and heredity, it is usually only 
anatomical characters that are in question. Now the study of the 
physiology of development teaches us that whatever else " characters " 
may be, they are not units; they simply represent the sum of all 
physiological processes coming to expression in definable areas or ways, 
and they may thus represent a particular stage of a chemical process, 
or a mode of reaction of some part. " Character " is essentially a 
static morphological term; in the study of heredity and development 
we are dealing with biological processes. To adapt a phrase of Hux- 
ley's : " characters " are like shells cast up on the beach by the ebb and 
flow of the vital tides; they have a more or less adventitious quality. 
To give them representation in the germ is equivalent to a denial of 
uniformity in biological phenomena. 

Just as the exact position of each shell on a beach might be fully 
explained if we knew its full history, so each character has a certain 
kind of inner necessity as the result of a sequence of developmental 
processes. And just as in the history of the position of the shell on 
the beach we should certainly ascribe great importance to the tides and 
winds, so in the quality of each individual character we should find 
corresponding vital tides and winds, as regular and lawful as those of 
the ocean. We do not yet know the secrets of the vital tides; we 
maintain only that they are the moving forces in development and 
heredity, just as in physiology and pathology; and every fundamental 
contribution to the physiology of protoplasm is at the same time, 
and to the same extent, a contribution to heredity and the physiology 
of development. 

But if these principles are accepted, how are we to explain the 
facts on which the theory of unit characters depends? The main 
difficulty lies not in the facts of mutation, for the physiology of this 
phenomenon already begins to appear from the experiments of Tower 
and MacDougal, who show that mutations may result from action of 



INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT 251 

environment directly on the germ cells. The most fundamental phe- 
nomena in the unit character theory are unquestionably the segrega- 
tions of characters that appear in the offspring of hybrids in so-called 
Mendelian inheritance. In the most typical cases, grandparental 
characters reappear in definite proportions of the progeny of the hybrid 
generation. The interpretation, according to the theory of unit 
characters, is in the hypothesis of purity of the germ cells of the 
hybrid generation with respect to the segregated characters; which 
means that the germ cells of the hybrid generation are pure with refer- 
ence to the contrasting characters united in the soma; in other words, 
that corresponding contrasted characters can not both remain in the 
same germ cell, but are segregated in different ones and may thus 
appear pure in the descendants of a hybrid generation. 8 

We may well doubt that absolute purity of grandparental characters 
in the offspring of the hybrid generation occurs, and the results un- 
questionably vary with the environment; but I believe that we have 
to admit the general principle of segregation. However, the theory 
of segregation of unit characters in the germ cells is in no way necessary 
to explain the results; it is in fact inconsistent with the highly variable 
result; if unit characters were segregated in the germ, we should expect 
very definite constant results. 

If we take our stand on the epigenetic basis and regard the germ 
cells as no more complex than direct investigation would lead us to 
suppose, then we have to admit that segregation in the germ cells can 
involve only constituents of the germ cells themselves. But any 
variation thus induced in the germ cells would be a factor in each 
process of the development, and would hence tend to influence every 
character that appears. Such a hypothesis involves the conception 
that germ cells contain elements capable of segregation ; and this is so. 
Even if the principle of segregation of characters in inheritance had 
never been discovered, the principle of segregation of germ-cell elements 
would still hold, for the two discoveries were made absolutely inde- 
pendently. 

I refer to the work of Guyer and Montgomery on the chromosomes, 
which has been followed by a long series of very exact studies. These 
studies certainly suggest segregation of parental chromosomes in vary- 
ing proportions in different germ cells. Indeed, I know of no other 
interpretation of chromosome behavior that is consistent with the 
facts. Whatever value we may attribute to the chromosomes in cellular 
physiology, the variable relations established by their differential segre- 
gations, even if only quantitative differences are concerned, must involve 
endless secondary effects in the long series of cell generations that make 

• Recent modifications of the theory of purity of the germ-cells do not essen- 
tially modify the argument. 



252 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

up the individual life history. 4 It is not impossible that other segrega- 
tions than those of the chromosomes form part of the germ-cell be- 
havior, but of this we know nothing as yet. In any event, the principle 
of segregation of actual visible elements of the germ cells has a firm 
anatomical basis. 

It must not be forgotten that the germ is the entire organism and 
that it passes through development as the same individual; con- 
tinuity of individuality is preserved throughout development. There- 
fore, if we discard determinant hypotheses and take our stand on 
a strictly physiological theory of development, it follows of necessity 
that the transmitted factors of heredity included in the organization 
of the germ cells must be factors in the development of the entire 
organism. The so-called Mendelian factors must therefore be of this 
character, as I have argued elsewhere. That is to say, the segregated 
factors must be general constitutional conditions effective as factors 
in the development of every part of the organism. It can readily be 
seen that specific intensity of metabolism, or of reactivity, and varia- 
tion in constitutional size of cells may be such conditions. Others no 
doubt exist, of which sex may be one. The essential thing to recognize 
is that the heritable and segregable factors, being conditions of the 
germ cells at the start, can never be anything less than factors of the 
entire organism at all stages. 

Our conclusion is that the theory of individual development must 
more and more come to be regarded as a branch of physiology proper. 
The theory of representative particles must be relegated to the class of 
formal hypotheses whose usefulness is largely outlived. While it may 
still play a part in speculations on heredity, I believe that it will come 
to be generally recognized by those who use it as a mere matter of 
convenience of terminology, and not as an explanation of the phenomena 
described in its terms, in the sense of being a verifiable part of the 
sequence of processes in development. 

* This general argument would stand even if the chromosomes be regarded 
merely as indices of organization. They at least give us a clue as to what 
" the organism " is doing at the time in question. This is indeed all we can 
say of any characters at any period if we consider the matter in a strictly 
logical sense. 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 253 



THE OKIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM AND ITS 
APPROPRIATION OF EFFECTORS 

By G. H. PARKER 

PROFESSOR OF ZOOLOGY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY 

III. Central Nervous Organs 

IN dealing with the differentiation of nervous organs, the earth- 
worm affords a good example of a simple type of well-centralized 
nervous system. The central nervous organs in this animal (Fig. 1) 
consist of a brain or cerebral ganglion situated anteriorly and dorsal to 
the buccal cavity, right and left oesophageal connectives extending from 
the brain ventrally to the ventral nerve-cord which stretches as a seg- 
mented organ from near the anterior end of the worm over its ventral 
line posteriorly to the tail. The segments in the ventral cord agree in 



VI 



Fio. 1. Head of an Earthworm in longitudinal Section, b, brain; m, 
mouth ; o, oesophagus ; vn, ventral nerve-cord. 

number and position with those of the worm's body and from each seg- 
ment three pairs of nerves pass out to the integument and muscles of 
the adjacent region. 

The essential nervous elements of the ventral cord can be made out 
in transverse sections (Fig. 2). In such sections the integument will 
be seen to be filled with sense-cells, each of which ends peripherally in a 
sensory bristle and gives rise centrally, in addition to a few subepithelial 
processes, to a single nerve-fiber which passes inward between the 
muscles and enters the ventral ganglion by one of its three nerves; 
finally this fiber spreads out in the fibrillar substance or neuropile of 
the ganglion. This cell-body in the integument with its processes 
including the nerve-fiber constitutes a primary sensory neurone. These 
neurones usually do not spread beyond the ganglion with which they 
are directly connected, but in exceptional cases they may extend into 
the ganglion anterior or posterior to this one. 

In the ventral and lateral portions of each ganglion are numerous 
large nerve-cells from which coarse processes extend through the neuro- 



254 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



pile, fibrillating as they pass to terminate as motor nerve-fibers in the 
muscles of the adjacent part of the body. These cells with their proc- 
esses constitute the primary motor neurones of the earthworm and, like 
the sensory neurones, they may be present in any one of the three nerves 
of a segment. Their longitudinal extent is probably not much beyond 
a single segment. 

The primary sensory and motor neurones not only give rise to the 
nerves of the earthworm, but they contribute a larger part of the sub- 




Fio. 2. Transverse Section of the Ventral Nervous Chain and surrounding 
Structures of an Earthworm, cm, circular muscles ; ep, epidermis ; Im, longitudinal 
muscles ; mc t motor cell-body ; mf, motor nerve-fiber ; so, sensory cell-body ; sf, sensory 
nerve-fiber; vg, ventral ganglion. 



stance of each ganglion. As stated in the first article, they form when 
together the necessary elements for the simplest, conventional reflex-arc. 
How they are related to one another in the neuropile is not conclusively 
settled, but, judging from the work of Ap&thy (1897) and others, the 
connection here as in the nervous net is one of direct continuity. 

Besides the motor and sensory neurones, the central nervous organs 
of the earthworm contain a considerable number of so-called association 
^neurones. These are nerve-cells with longer or shorter processes that 
connect parts within the same ganglion or run from one ganglion to 
another. They give rise to no fibers that extend into the nerves and 
hence they are strictly limited to the central nervous organs. Their 
longitudinal extent is seldom over more than one or two segments. 

Since the sensory, motor, and association neurones thus far described 
make up the bulk of the ventral nerve-cord of the earthworm and since 
none of these have a longitudinal extent of more than a few segments, 
it follows that the cord must be conceived as made up of an immense 
number of overlapping short neurones which in this collective way 
stretch over its hundred and twenty or more segments. But the nerve- 
cord of the earthworm is not composed exclusively of short neurones. 
In its dorsal portion are three giant fibers which, though their nature 
has been even recently disputed, are without much doubt nervous 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 



255 



organs. The middle and largest of these fibers extends almost the 
whole length of the ventral cord and, according to Friedlander (1894), ./ 
has unquestionable connections with ganglion-cells. The two lateral 
fibers, though smaller, have much the same extent as the median one 
and are also directly connected with cells. Both sets of fibers connect 
by branches with the neuropile of the successive segments. Thus the 
ventral cord of the earthworm may be described as composed of three 
long neurones and an immense number of overlapping short neurones. ^ 

This peculiarity in the structure of the cord makes itself manifest 
in the movements of the worm. Undoubtedly the slow waves of mus- > 
cular activity that move over the worm from head to tail as it creeps 
along are dependent upon the interlocked short neurones, whereas the 




Fig. 8. Transverse Section of the Ventral Nervous Cord of BegalUm 
(modified from Hatschek). bm, basement membrane; c, cuticula; e, epidermis; go, 
ganglion-eel Is ; n, nerve-fibers and neuropile; «, space occupied by vacuolated sup- 
porting tissue. 

sudden drawing together of the worm as a whole, when it is vigorously 
stimulated, is very probably the result of impulses spread through the / 
long neurones. 

The absence of degenerated fiber-tracts in the ventral cords of 
earthworms that have been cut in two and the rapidity with which 
nervous regeneration takes place in these worms are conditions that 
very likely depend upon the almost entire formation of the cord from 
systems of short neurones. 

At first sight the central nervous apparatus of the earthworm seems 
to be widely different from the neuromuscular mechanism of the ccelen- 
terates, but the difference in reality is not so pronounced. To begin 
with, the whole nervous mechanism of the ccelenterate is within an 



256 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

epithelial layer, whereas the central nervous organs of the earthworm 
are solid masses of nerve-cells, fibers, and neuropile entirely distinct 
from any epithelium. But this condition is apparently a recent acqui- 
sition on the part of the earthworm, for in another annelid, Sagalion, 
the ventral cord (Fig. 3) and the brain are still a part of the superficial 










V 

Fig. 4. Transverse Section of the Ventbal Nervous Cord of an Earthworm, 
showing the ganglion-cells on the ventral side (v) and the nerve-fibers and neuropile 
on the dorsal side (<2). 

ectoderm and differ from the condition in the ccelenterates only in that 
they represent a concentration of nervous elements in certain regions 
instead of a diffuse condition as in the sea-anemones, etc. In Nereis 
the brain is epithelial, but the cord by a process of delamination has 
broken away from the integument, and in the earthworm the whole 
central nervous system, brain as well as cord, has delaminated. It is 
chiefly this concentration and separation of the nervous organs from the 
skin that justifies, in my opinion, the statement that an earthworm has 
central nervous organs and a sea-anemone has not. 

The fact, however, that the central nervous system of the earthworm 
has developed on the lines of the ccelenterate, has left its mark in the 
distribution of nervous materials in the ventral cord of this animal. In 
the ectoderm of the ccelenterate the cell-bodies of the nervous mech- 
anism are nearer the exterior of the animal than are their processes, the 
fibrillar mass, and the same is true in the ventral ganglia of the earth- 
worm (Fig. 4) ; here the cell-bodies are on the ventral side of the gang- 
lion, i. e., next the integumentary epithelium, and the neuropile and 
nerve-fibers are on the opposite or dorsal side of the ganglion. This 
peculiarity in the distribution of nervous materials is apparently true 
for most higher metazoans. 

Another point of comparison between the nervous mechanism in 
ccelenterates and in the earthworm is the presence of nerves in the 
latter and their absence in the former. As already pointed out, the 
nerves in the earthworm are bundles of independent fibers which course 
more or less together between their end-organs and the central apparatus. 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 257 

The fibers in a nerve have no necessary functional relations one with 
another, but are brought together chiefly by convenience of passage. 
They are characteristic of those animals in which sense organs and 
muscles have become well differentiated and widely separated from the 
central organs, and are not to be confused with elongated bundles of 
nervous elements such as are to be met with in some ccelenterates and 
many echinoderms, for though these may represent early steps in the 
evolution of nerves, they still retain so many evidences of functional 
interrelation among their elements that they are to be classed rather 
with nervous nets than with nerves. 

The differentiation of nerves as thus defined implies an increased 
interrelation of neurones in the central apparatus as compared with the 
condition in the more primitive nervous net. The nature of this grow- 
ing interrelation has been well expressed by Sherrington (1906) in his 
principle of the common path. This principle implies that each sense 
organ may be connected through the central organ with every effector 
and conversely any effector may receive through the central organ 
impulses from any sense-organ. In consequence the central organ must 
contain many common paths which are momentarily used, now for this, 
now for that combination of particular receptors and effectors. This 
condition without doubt obtains in earthworms as it does in higher 
animals, and is a feature that can hardly be said to exist in the nervous 
nets of the ccelenterates. 

It is also probable that the nervous mechanism in ccelenterates dif- 
fers from that in the earthworm in its capacity as a nervous transmitter. 
Attention has already been called to the fact that transmission in the 
nervous net of a ccelenterate may occur in almost any direction and that 
in the central nervous organs of vertebrates it is very definitely limited 
and may in fact flow in only one of two apparently possible directions. 
So definite a restriction can not be asserted for the earthworm but, as 
Norman (1900) has shown, significant differences do obtain. If an 
earthworm that is creeping forward over a smooth surface is suddenly 
cut in two near the middle, the anterior portion will move onward 
without much disturbance whereas the posterior part will wriggle as 
though in convulsions. This reaction, which can be repeatedly obtained 
on even fragments of worms, shows that a single cut involves a stimula- 
tion which in a posterior direction gives rise to a wholly different form 
of response to what it does anteriorly; in other words, transmission in 
the nerve-cord of the worm is specialized as compared with transmission 
in the nervous net of the ccelenterate. 

There is good reason to believe that the cerebral ganglion or brain 
of the earthworm is in a measure degenerate. Certainly if we turn to 
such an annelid as Nereis we find in place of the small mass of gangli- 
onic cells and fibers that represent the brain in the earthworm a much 

vol. lxxv— 17. 



258 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

more extensive organ connected with a considerable number of sense 
organs none of which are present in the earthworm. Eight peristomial 
tentacles, a pair of palps, a pair of antennae and, two pairs of eyes are 
found connected by nerves with the brain of Nereis and represent a 
condition in strong contrast with the unspecialized state in the earth- 
worm. Yet both the earthworm and Nereis show much the same traits 
when deprived of their brains (Loeb, 1894) . Each worm is immensely 
reduced in activity somewhat as a jellyfish is after the removal of its 
sense-bodies, and one is justified in concluding that the head of even the 
earthworm is an especially sensitive region through which many slight 
environmental influences that might not be able to affect other parts of 
the body gain access at this point to the neuromuscular mechanism. 
That such a condition should obtain at the anterior end of a bilateral 
animal has long been recognized as appropriate, for this is the part of 
the animal that in normal locomotion first reaches the new environment. 
But I am not acquainted with any discussion as to the mutual relations 
of the nervous parts at the anterior end of an animal so far as their 
origins are concerned. If what has been said in these lectures is true, 
namely, that sense-organs in general precede central nervous organs in 
evolution, then the brain of the worm has developed at its anterior end 
because the chief sense-organs were originally there, and not vice versa, 
a statement that I believe to hold for the growth of the brain in all 
animals. Intricate and marvelous as the brain of the higher animals 
is, it is, in my opinion, the product of a group of sense-organs that in 
evolution preceded it in point of time. 

The annelids then possess a neuromuscular mechanism in which 
there are not only primary organs such as muscles, and secondary 
organs, the sense-organs, but also tertiary organs, central nervous organs. 
These central organs intervene in position between the receptors and 
effectors and in the annelids are composed almost exclusively of short 
overlapping neurones. It is probable that in the sea-anemone these 
neurones are represented by the so-called ganglion-cells of the nervous 
layer, but I would not go as far as Havet (1901) and designate these 
cells in ccelenterates as motor cells, for though some of them undoubt- 
edly connect with the muscle-fibers, others may be purely association 
neurones. I believe further that in the sea-anemones the fibrils from 
many sense-cells connect directly with muscle-fibers without the inter- 
vention of ganglion-cells. 

As an example of a central nervous system built upon the annelid 
type but with increased complication, we may turn to the arthropods. 
The central nervous system of these animals, like that of the annelids, 
consists of a dorsal brain, oesophageal connectives, and a ventral, seg- 
mented cord. These organs have been formed by a process of delami- 
nation as in the earthworm and exhibit the same fundamental arrange- 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 259 

ment of cellular elements as is seen in this animal, i. e., the ganglion- 
cells are on the side of the cord next the exterior, and the neuropile and 
nerve-fibers next the interior. 

The chief fundamental point of difference in the nervous systems of 
the annelids and arthropods consists in the great number of long 
neurones in the latter as compared with the former. In the crab, as 
demonstrated by Bethe (1897), many of the primary sensory neurones 
extend over half the length of the ventral cord instead of being limited 
to a few segments as in the earthworm, and the same is true of the 
primary motor neurones. Moreover, the association neurones have 
shown an extensive growth. Although in the crab there are some 
neurones limited to one or two segments, as is the rule in the earth- 
worm, the great majority extend over many segments and often through 
the whole length of the nervous system. In this way the central 
nervous organs of these animals are locked together much more closely 
than are those in the worm and exhibit consequently in their physiology 
a unity that the worms do not possess. This nervous unity, moreover, 
has developed to such a degree in the higher arthropods that we may 
with reason ascribe to such animals as the insects a primitive form of 
intellectual life not unlike that found in the vertebrates. The struc- 
tural basis for this seems to me to be foreshadowed in the few long 
neurones of the worm which, as I have just pointed out, come to be the 
common type in the arthropods. The type of central nervous system 
with long neurones also characterizes the other higher invertebrates 
such as the mollusks, etc. 

The central nervous system of the vertebrates and of certain other 
closely allied forms like the tunicates, is usually put in strong contrast 
with that of the higher invertebrates. The most striking feature in 
this contrast is the fact that the vertebrate nervous system is tubular 
and the invertebrate solid. As is well known, the central nervous 
organs in vertebrates develop from an ectodermic tube that has been 
infolded from the median dorsal surface of the animal. This simple 
nerve-tube with nervous connections, but otherwise almost unmodified, 
exists to-day in that primitive vertebrate amphioxus. In the higher 
vertebrates the posterior portion of this tube becomes uniformly thick- 
ened and forms the spinal cord, the central canal of which gives evi- 
dence of its tubular nature. The anterior portion undergoes still more 
profound changes than the posterior part in that its wall thickens very 
differently in different regions and expands in several lobe-like out- 
growths, giving rise thus to the brain whose ventricles represent the 
original cavity of the nerve-tube. 

Notwithstanding the striking difference between the central nervous 
organs of vertebrates and invertebrates, they show certain fundamental 
similarities and the first of these has to do with the distribution of 



V 



a6o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

nervous materials. Since the nerve-tube from which the central 
nervous organs in vertebrates are developed is infolded ectoderm, it 
follows that the inner surface of the tube represents a portion of the 
outer surface of the animal. This inner surface even in the adult 
central nervous system is always covered by an epithelium as the 
exterior of the animal is, and the nervous materials which surround it 
are related to this epithelium in a characteristic way. This relation 
can be most easily seen in any transverse section of the spinal cord. 
Beginning at the central canal of such a section (Fig. 5) and proceed- 




Fig. 5. Transverse Section of the Spinal Cobd of a Vbbtbbbatb (Sala- 
mander), o, central canal; e, epidermis; g, gray substance composed of ganglion- 
cells and neuroplle; to, white substance or nerve-fibers. 

ing through the substance of the cord to the opposite face, one passes 
first an epithelial layer, then gray substances composed of nerve-cells, 
neuropile, etc., and finally white substance made up of nerve-fibers. 
Precisely this sequence is met with in the central nervous system of any 
primitive invertebrate such as Segalion, where, as already pointed out, 
in passing through the thickness of the central nervous organ from the 
exterior to the interior one meets first external epithelium, then gan- 
glion-cells and fibrillaB corresponding to the gray substance of verte- 
brates, and finally nerve-fibers corresponding to the white substance of 
these animals. Thus the nervous materials of the vertebrate spinal 
cord are distributed through that structure on a plan similar to that 
found in invertebrates, and this plan, though considerably modified, also 
holds good for the vertebrate brain. So far as these particulars are 
concerned, the vertebrate central nervous system differs from that of 
the higher invertebrates chiefly in that in separating from the integu- 
ment it has carried with it its epithelial mother-tissue instead of leaving 
this tissue behind. 

Not only are the materials of the vertebrate central organs distrib- 
uted on a plan that is best understood from the standpoint of the inver- 
tebrates, but the primary neurones of vertebrates are also most clearly 
interpreted from this point of view. The primary motor neurones of 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 



261 



vertebrates (Fig. 6) resemble very closely those of invertebrates, for 
their cell-bodies are within the central nervous mass and their neurites 
extend as motor nerve-fibers to the skeletal muscles. The primary 
sensory neurones also agree with those of the invertebrates except that 
their cell-bodies instead of being in or near the integument, as in most 
invertebrates, have migrated centrally and thus form the dorsal ganglia. 
At least this appears to have occurred in all vertebrate sensory nerves 
except the olfactory, which still retains the usual invertebrate condition. 




Fio. 6. Diagram of the Primary Neurones of the Vertebrate Nebvous 
System as seen in Transversa Section, c, spinal cord ; &g, dorsal ganglion ; i, In- 
tegument; m, muscle; mn, motor neurone; *n, sensory neurone. 

Association neurones, which were met with in the invertebrates, are 
abundantly present in the vertebrates. 

How the neurones in vertebrates are related to one another has been 
a matter of much dispute. Whether the gray substance of the central 
organs in these animals contains a true nervous net as seems to be the 
case in many invertebrates or whether their neurones retain greater 
individuality and are related morphologically only through contact, is 
not yet settled. That many embryonic neurones, or neurocytes, are in 
the beginning widely separated from others with which they are ulti- 
mately closely related is true and gives color to the belief that they may 
never fuse anatomically, though physiologically they do become con- 
tinuous. The fact that nervous transmission through central organs 
in adult vertebrates is slow, open to exhaustion, and restricted to one 
direction as contrasted with transmission through nerve-fibers, is strong 
physiological evidence of a special central mechanism of interrelation 
between neurones such as Sherrington (1906) has pictured in the 
synapse. That no special anatomical condition has thus far been dis- 
covered that answers to this physiological requirement can in no sense 
be taken as an objection to it. That the vertebrate central nervous 
system is in many of its parts a synaptic organ can not be doubted, but 
that all its parts are synaptic is not yet proved. Possibly this is a 



262 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

feature characteristic of only the more specialized parts of the vertebrate 
central organs and entirely absent from the invertebrate, but whether 
this difference really exists or not must remain for future investigation. 

Although it can not be said at present that a synaptic nervous system 
is the peculiar possession of the vertebrates, there are two important 
features in which the central organs of these animals differ from those 
of the invertebrates. In the first place, the central organs of verte- 
brates exhibit a large prepondernace of long neurones over short ones, 
and in the second place, they show an enormous increase in the number 
of association neurones. In an earthworm there are only three long 
neurones and the rest are short ones; in a crab the long and short 
neurones are perhaps about equally abundant; but in a vertebrate the 
long neurones certainly far outnumber the short ones. In any trans- 
verse section of the spinal cord of one of the higher animals almost 
all of the white substance in view excepting a thin layer surrounding 
the ventral horn is made up of systems of long neurones. In this 
respect the condition in the vertebrates seems to be almost the reverse 
of that in worms and in consequence transection of their central nervous 
organs results in profound and extensive degeneration such as is never 
met with in animals like worms. For this reason the central nervous 
system of the vertebrate, though giving much evidence of segmentation 
in its early stages of growth, is finally a physiological unit such as is 
realized in no other group of animals, a condition well evidenced by 
the fact that some of its most recent phylogenetic acquisitions, like the 
pyramidal tracts of the mammals, may consist of neurones that reach 
almost from one end of the system to the other. 

The second feature that distinguishes the central nervous organs of 
vertebrates from those of invertebrates is the enormous development of 
association neurones. These neurones are present in worms, are nu- 
merous in arthropods, but are overwhelmingly abundant in vertebrates. 
Of the white substance seen in the transverse section of the spinal cord 
almost all except the dorsal columns represent association neurones. 
Judged from this standpoint there are certainly many more association 
neurones in the cord than all other kinds taken together. But the asso- 
ciation neurones are not only the most numerous in the vertebrates; 
they also constitute the basis of the most significant evolution. The 
central nervous organs that show the most conspicuous progressive 
changes in the vertebrates are the cerebellum and the cerebrum, par- 
ticularly their cortical portions, and when it is remembered that few or 
no primary sensory or motor neurones contribute to these two organs, 
but that they are made up of association neurones almost exclusively, it 
will be seen how enormously important these neurones become. The 
association neurones in the vertebrates are not only the organs of intri- 
cate nervous exchange, but in the region of the cerebral cortex they 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 263 

afford the material basis of the intellectual life. Thus in the verte- 
brates the primary sensory and motor neurones in number and impor- 
tance are outstripped by the association neurones. 

As thus sketched the development of the adjuster or central nervous 
element of the neuromuscular mechanism takes place in the region 
between the receptors and the effectors and in time after these two sets 
of organs have appeared. Its primary function is undoubtedly trans- 
mission involving the principle of the common path; secondarily it 
comes to be a repository of the effects of nervous stimulation whereby 
its principal function as a modifier of impulses is made possible. 



References 
ApAthy, S. 

1897. Das leitende Element des Nervensystems und seine topographischen 
Beziehungen zu den Zellen. Mitth. zool. Stat., Neapel, Bd. 12, pp. 495- 
748, Taf. 23-32. 
Bethe, A. 

1897. Das Nervensystem von Carcinus Msenas. Arch. mik. Anat., Bd. 50, 
pp. 460-546, Taf. 25-30. 
Fbiedlandeb, B. 

1894. Altes und Neues zur Histologic des Bauchstranges des Regenwurms. 
Zeitschr. wis*. Zool., Bd. 58, pp. 661-693, Taf. 40. 
Havet, J. 

1901. Contribution a l'etude du Systeme nerve ux des Actinies. La Cellule, 
tome 18, pp. 385-419, pis. 1-6. 
Loeb, J. 

1894. Beitrage zur Gehirnphysiologie der Wurmer. Arch. ges. Physiol., 
Bd. 56, pp. 247-269. 
Norman, W. W. 

1900. Do the Reactions of the Lower Animals against Injury indicate Pain 
Sensations? Amer. Journ. Physiol., vol. 3, pp. 271-284. 
Shebbtnqton, C. S. 

1906. The Integrative Action of the Nervous System. New York, 8vo, 
xvi + 411 pp. 



264 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



ANOTHER MODE OF SPECIES FORMING 1 

By LUTHBB BURBAfcK^ 

SANTA BOSA, CAL. 

THE more usual concept of the formation of species is by slow varia- 
tions so well known as the Darwinian theory, which though 
attacked from every point, still is and must always in the main be 
accepted, for without question it gives the fundamental principles of 
evolution as had never been done before. Yet the boundless amount 
of research along these lines during the last half century has developed 
strong new sidelights which illuminate, and in some cases compel a 
slightly different view of, some of the suggestions of the master, Darwin. 

During the period of forty years that I have been experimenting 
with plant life both in bleak New England and in sunny California, ex- 
tensively operating on much more than four thousand five hundred 
distinct species of plants, including all known economic and orna- 
mental plant forms which are grown in the open air in temperate and 
semi-tropic climates, as well as many of those commonly grown in 
greenhouses and numerous absolutely new ones not before domesticated 
and on a scale never before attempted by any individual or body of 
individuals, numerous general principles have pressed themselves for- 
ward for discussion and observation. Only one of these can be dis- 
cussed at this time, and this briefly, more as a text for further observa- 
tions and experiments than as anything like a full view of this highly 
interesting mode of species formation. 

In the first place, let me say that our so-called species are only 
tentative bundles of plants, no two individuals of which are exactly 
alike, but nearly all of which quite closely resemble each other in gen- 
eral outside appearances and in hereditary tendencies. Yet no one 
can tell just what the result will be when combinations of these in- 
herent tendencies are crossed or subjected to any other disturbing fac- 
tor or factors. Like the chemist who has new elements to work with, 
we may predict with some degree of accuracy what the general results 
will be, but any definite knowledge of the results of these combinations 
is far more difficult, even impossible, as the life forces of plants and 
animals act in infinitely more new directions than can any ordinary 
number of combinations of chemicals. 

Only a few years ago, it was generally supposed that by crossing 
two somewhat different species or varieties a mongrel might be pro- 
duced which might, or more likely might not, surpass its parents. 

1 Read at the annual meeting of the American Breeders' Association, at 
Columbia, Mo., January 5 to 8, 1909. 



ANOTHER MODE OF SPECIES FORMING 265 

The fact that crossing was only the first step and that selection 
from the numerous variations secured in the second and a few succeed- 
ing generations was the real work of new plant creation had never 
been appreciated; and to-day its significance is not fully understood 
either by breeders or even by many scientific investigators along these 
very lines. Old tailings are constantly being worked over at great ex- 
pense of time and with small profit, while the mother lode is repudiated 
and neglected. 

Plant breeding to be successful must be conducted like architecture. 
Definite plans must be carefully laid for the proposed creation; suit- 
able materials selected with judgment, and these must be securely 
placed in their proper order and position. No occupation requires more 
accuracy, foresight and skill than does scientific plant or animal 
breeding. 

As before noted, the first generation after a cross has been made 
is usually a more or less complete blend of all the characteristics of 
both parents ; not only the visible characters, but an infinite number of 
invisible ones are inherent and will shape the future character and 
destiny of the descendants, often producing otherwise unaccountable 
so-called mutations, saltations or sports, the selection and perpetuation 
of which give to new plant creations their unique forms and often 
priceless values, like the Burbank potato produced thirty-six years ago 
and which is now grown on this western coast almost to the exclusion 
of all others (fourteen millions of bushels per annum, besides the vast 
amount grown in the -eastern United States and other countries), or 
the Bartlett pear, Baldwin apple and navel oranges, all of which are 
variations selected by some keen observer. Millions of others are 
forever buried in oblivion for the lack of such an observer. 

But in this paper I wish to call attention to a not unusual result of 
crossing quite distinct wild species which deserves the most careful 
analysis, as it seems to promise a new text for scientific investigation, 
especially on biometric lines. The subject was most forcibly brought 
to my attention twenty years ago by the singular behavior of the 
second-generation seedlings of raspberry-blackberry hybrids. By cross- 
ing the Siberian raspberry (Rubus cratcegifolius) with our native 
trailing blackberry (Rubus vitifolius), a thoroughly fixed new species 
was summarily produced. The seedlings of this composite Rubus 
(named Primus), though a most perfect blend of both parents but re- 
sembling neither, never reverted either way; all the seedlings coming 
much more exactly like the new type than do the seedlings of any 
ordinary wild rubus. Many thousand plants have been raised genera- 
tion after generation, all repeating themselves after the new and 
unique type. No botanist on earth could do otherwise than classify 
it if found wild as a valid new species, which it truly is, though so 
summarily produced by crossing. 



266 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Since the Primus species was originated, numerous similar cases 
have attracted attention, such as my now popular Phenomenal pro- 
duced by crossing the Cuthbert raspberry with our native Pacific coast 
blackberry, and the Logan berry, both of which, though a complete 
blend of two such distinct species, yet reproduce from seed as truly as 
any wild rubus species. 

I have had also growing on my grounds for some fifteen years or 
more hybrids of Rubus idceus and Rvbus vilhsus, both red and yellow 
varieties. All are exactly intermediate between these two very widely 
different species, yet both always come true intermediates from seed, 
generation after generation, never reverting either way. 

By crossing the great African " stubble berry " (Solatium guinense) 
with our Pacific coast " rabbit weed" (Solatium villosum) an abso- 
lutely new species has also been produced, the fruit of which resembles 
in almost every particular the common blueberry (Vaccinium Penn- 
sylvatiicum) , and while the fruit of neither parent species is edible, the 
fruit of the newly created one is most delicious and most abundantly 
produced, and the seedlings, generation after generation though pro- 
duced by the million, still, all come as true to the new type as do 
either parent species to their normal type. 

Still another example of this mode may be found in my experiments 
with opuntias. By crossing 0. tuna with 0. vulgaris, thousands of seed- 
lings have been produced, all of which, in the first, second and third 
generations, though a well-balanced blend of the two natural species, still 
come as true to the newly created species as do either parent species to 
their own natural types. 

Not only does this new mode hold true under cultivation but species 
are also summarily produced in a wild state by natural crossing. 

The western blackcap (Rubus occidentalis) and the eastern red 
raspberry (Rubus strigosus) when growing contiguous, as they very 
commonly do in Central British America, often cross, forming an 
intermediate new species which sometimes sorely crowds both of the 
parent species, and when brought under cultivation still firmly main- 
tains its intermediate characters, no matter how often reproduced from 
seed. And still further, our common "tarweed" (Madia elegans) 
with its beautiful large blossoms often crosses with M. saliva with 
its insignificant pale yellow flowers, producing a complete intermediate. 
I have not yet determined whether the intermediate will reproduce 
true from seed, but confidently expect it to do so. Similar results 
among wild evergreens and deciduous trees and shrubs and herbaceous 
plants have been frequently and forcefully brought to my attention, 
leaving little doubt in my own mind that the evolution of species is by 
more modes than some are inclined to admit. 



POINCARE AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY 267 



HENRI POINCARE AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY 1 



By M. FREDERIC MASSON 

PARIS ACADEMY OF SCIENCES 



THE Acad6mie Frangaise is primarily a literary organization, and 
its special work is the preparation of a dictionary. But even in 
this enterprise it is desirable, as M. Masson points out in the document 
of which I propose to translate a part, to have expert assistance at hand 
in the matter of the meaning and use of scientific terms. It is probably 
for this reason that Henri Poincar6, already a member of thirty-five 
academies, was this year called to membership in the most celebrated 
of all academies. 

The great mathematician entered the august body with a eulogy of 
his predecessor, the poet Sully-Prudhomme — which task was not as 
strange to him as might seem at first glance, since Sully-Prudhomme 
was educated for a scientist and all of his work shows a scientific turn — 
and was received, with the customary biographical welcome, by the 
historian Fr6d6ric Masson. A study by a layman and for the ears of 
laymen, M. Masson's address is a thoroughly popular effort; but it has 
a great deal that is pleasing, and not a little that is suggestive. I 
quote, with considerable abbreviation, from the part which deals most 
directly with the new academician's life and work. 

You were born, a little more than half a century ago, in that dear 
and glorious Lorraine which has furnished this body so many men 
remarkable in lines of activity so diverse; so soon after we have been 
cruelly touched by the death of Theuriet, of Gebhart and of Cardinal 
Mathieu, you appear, attesting, by the exercise of a totally different 
genius, the inexhaustible fecundity of your native province. 

You come of an old race long established at Neufch&teau, and lo- 
cated at Nancy for a century. Of your name — Pontcare (square bridge), 
rather than PoincarS (square point), for, as you have said, one might 
conceive a square bridge, but scarcely a square point — there have been 
magistrates, savants, lawyers, soldiers like the Commandant Poincar6, 
your great-uncle, whose tenderness for his wife and whose sad adven- 
tures M. Chuquet has narrated — like that other Poincar6, also an of- 
ficer, who died for the republic in the year IX., whose son the first 
consul himself recommended to the ministry of war for a place in their 
offices, since, a corporal in the Seventh Hussars, "he had lost a leg 
and a thigh in one of the last battles which adorned the last campaign 
on the Rhine." 

1 Translated, with an introduction, by Professor Roy Temple House. 



268 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Your grandfather was a pharmacist ; it was at Nancy, in his house, 
opposite the ducal palace, that you came into the world; and this 
house, solid, massive and without ornament, is entered through an al- 
most monumental portal whose worm-eaten posts support a broken 
pediment bearing the semblance of a boiling pot. Some found a bit 
of symbolism : the portal is poetry ; the house is prose ; it gives an im- 
pression of bourgeois simplicity and of settled living which is by no 
means trivial. Your father, a physician, was a conscientious student, 
a distinguished practitioner; and the faculty of Nancy, where he took 
his course, considered him a master of whom they were justly proud, 
at the same time that the working population saluted in him their 
benefactor. He was one of those men who, having been led by a noble 
curiosity into the most emotional and uncertain of professions, practise 
it with admirable disinterestedness and hold themselves amply repaid 
if they are so fortunate as to save a human life now and then. For the 
honor of the nation, there are many of the sort in France; but few 
have been able, like Dr. Poincar6, to discharge the duties of so absorbing 
a profession, to work in the laboratory, to teach assiduously, and at the 
same time to travel extensively over Europe. 

Your mother was one of those alert, active women, always in mo- 
tion and always busy, whose spirit of order, organization and command 
rules a household. She also was a native of Lorraine, of an old local 
family, home-loving, attached and riveted to the soil; the boys, no 
matter how brilliantly they had begun life, were never easy till they 
had returned to the home-nest to live, hunting on their estates or super- 
vising their cultivation ; two of your great-uncles joined to their rural 
tastes an inclination for geometry. Your mother wasted no time on 
such matters, finding enough to busy her in those occupations which are 
duties, and which, cheerfully accepted as such, become pleasures. Ah ! 
what admirable sources of vital energy are these Frenchwomen, honest 
and shrewd, economical and judicious, sovereign in their own domain 
and disdainful of the other conquests, constantly busy at reforming the 
national virtue and transmitting intelligent patriotism to their chil- 
dren ! ... In your home you found an uncle recently graduated from 
the Ecole Polytechnique. What a prestige surrounds these young men 
who, by a mental effort which is sometimes excessive, succeed in ob- 
taining the first places in their generation, and to how many mistaken 
choices of vocation does their example lead! But with you, sir, the 
vocation had nothing to do with example; you were predestined to 
mathematics ! This aptitude, in your paternal and maternal family, is 
transmitted in collateral lines like the throne in the House of Osman, 
and yourself twice heir of avuncular gifts, I am told that you have 
selected one of your own nephews for the precious succession. 

You did not wait long to reveal your vocation, and you are justly 



POINCARE AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY 269 

cited as the most precocious of infant prodigies. You were nine months 
old when you first saw the sky at night. You saw a star come out. You 
obstinately pointed out the shining spot to your mother, who was also 
your nurse. You discovered a second, with the same astonishment. 
You greeted the third, the fourth, with the same cry of joy and the 
same enthusiasm ; it was necessary to put you to bed, you were so ex- 
cited by your new occupation of star-finding. That evening brought 
your first contact with infinity and your first lesson in astronomy ; you 
were the youngest professor known. 

I have been told that you were a delicate, alert, charming child, 
spoiled and adored by your parents; a terrible illness suffered at the 
age of five years, as a result of which it was feared that you would 
never be able to speak again, left you more delicate, timid and some- 
what awkward, so that you were afraid of the noisy games of the boys 
and preferred the society of your little sister. I do not imagine that 
violent sports ever tempted you, or that you ever became skilful in 
them. Nevertheless, you learned to hunt very large game. As soon as 
you learned to read, your curiosity was excited by those books of popu- 
lar science which have replaced fairy stories in realistic schemes of edu- 
cation. You found extreme pleasure in them, and you experienced a 
grandiose horror in witnessing cosmic upheavals and battling with 
antediluvian animals. It was formerly the fashion to run after Prince 
Charming and awaken Sleeping Beauties. Now the child is no longer 
expected to make the acquaintance of those trivial personages ; he must 
content himself with those whose skeletons have been discovered. Let 
me ask you : Between creatures which have really lived and of which • 
we know nothing and never shall know anything, except that they 
lived, and beings which have lived only in the dreams of humanity, 
but which in the course of the ages have gratified us with so much 
beauty, grace and poetry, which are the more real, which bring more 
of light, of consolation, of joy ? But you were not made to sit in the 
arm-chair of Charles Perrault. 

It was in your father's house that you received from a retired 
teacher, a friend of your family, your first notions of things; he did 
not require written exercises from you ; he conversed with you, talking 
of everything at haphazard; this encyclopedic instruction was so ap- 
propriate to your nature that when you entered the college you at once 
took the first place ; but this sort of work would be injurious to chil- 
dren of different endowment. Your memory was and still is more 
auditory than visual. Pronounced words engrave themselves on it. 
When you come back from a journey, no matter how long, you can 
recite the names of all the stations you have passed, if you heard them 
cried before your car. More than this — a character presents itself to 
your mind like a sound. In the evening, you can recite the numbers of 



a 7 o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

all the coaches you have met in the course of the day, but you hear 
them, you do not see the figures. This is one of the most remarkable 
peculiarities of your brain, and I venture to note it because I have 
the unanimous testimony for it of those who know you most intimately. 

At the lycee of Nancy, you were superior to your comrades in every 
branch, and you seemed so well endowed for literary studies that one of 
your teachers, who is one of our best historians, would have been glad 
to attract you to our speciality; but when, in the fourth grade, you 
opened a text on geometry, the work was done. Your astonished 
teacher rushed to your mother and said to her : " Madam, your son will 
be a mathematician." And she was not particularly frightened. Math- 
ematics, as soon as you made her acquaintance, seized you and held 
you. She is a tenacious mistress, with this peculiarity, that she fires all 
her lovers with the same impulse: the mathematician is a peripatetic. 
Pedestrian exercise seems necessary to him in order to stimulate 
thought, and, as he walks, certain mechanical gestures with which he 
occupies his fingers seem the indispensable auxiliaries of an intellectual 
laboT that leaves him indifferent to the exterior world and even uncon- 
scious of it. One day, when promenading, you suddenly discovered 
that you were carrying in your hand a wicker cage. You were prodig- 
iously surprised. When, where, how had your hand plucked this cage, 
which was new and fortunately empty? You had no idea, and re- 
tracing your steps, you walked until you found on the sidewalk the 
stock of a basket-maker whom you had innocently despoiled. Such 
phenomena are very common with you ; they will become, if they are not 
already so, as celebrated as those attributed to Lagrange, to Kant, to 
Ampere. You might be in worse company. 

You were, nevertheless, at times, a child who liked pleasure and 
games, but you invented your own amusements. You played at rail- 
road or diligence with a map or a guide in reach, and thus you learned 
geography. You put history into dramas and comedies; at sixteen 
years you had written a five-act tragedy in verse, and you would not 
have been a son of Lorraine if the heroine had not been Joan of Arc. 
Even charades had a charm for you. Are they not problems ? 

The war interrupted these games. You were sixteen years old ; your 
age and your health prevented your mingling with the combatants, but 
you tried to make yourself useful; every day you accompanied your 
father to the hospital and served as his secretary ; you were so eager to 
learn the news that, in order to read them in the only papers that were 
accessible to you, you learned German. The war must have matured 
you; it certainly left its trace upon you; but it did not change your 
life. To the men of the generation preceding yours, it brought a defi- 
nite conversion with introspection. You have read Sully-Prudhomme's 
verses entitled " Repentance/' In them he confesses the error into 
which the generosity of his heart had drawn him and in which the fal- 



PO IN CARE AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY 271 

lacious discourses of the rhetoricians had maintained him ; in order to 
carry out designs which were unworthy and shameful, these gentry re- 
sort to sonorous words to lull a careless people to security; and when 
the nation awakens and finds herself rolling into the abyss, she cries out 
treason but is unable to distinguish the traitors. So Sully-Prudhomme 
had detested war and shown himself rather disdainful of soldiers. 
Then he learned from his own experience that any one who chooses can 
not be a soldier, that it is one thing to deliver philosophic harangues 
and another to submit one's physical and moral being to monotonous 
regulations and entire self-effacement ; he learned — and the lesson cost 
him dear — that in order to possess the right to think, one must have 
conquered first the right to live ; that it is folly which would be ridicu- 
lous if it did not bring such despair to profess humanitarianism when 
all of Europe is under arms; and that, however inelegant the solution 
may appear, there is but one, if a people intends to maintain its na- 
tionality, guard its independence, continue its race, possess its territory, 
speak its language — and the solution is to be strong enough to defend 
them. 

You lived your life, sir, under the yoke of the victorious enemy. 
It was in a city occupied by the Germans that you resumed and con- 
tinued your studies. You were thoroughly successful in them ; but the 
joy was doubled for you by the fact that your public success coincided 
with the evacuation of Nancy. As our dear late colleague Emile Gcb- 
hart has told us, it was in a hall filled with the joy of deliverance that 
you received your last scholastic honors. You held the first rank, a na- 
tive of the city and ten times a prize-winner. You carried off the prize 
in mathematics from all your rivals, from Paris and the departments; 
it depended on you alone to enter the School of Forestry second on the 
list of appointees; this would have been another glory for Nancy, but 
you refused to go further with the school than to leave your visiting- 
card; you were distrustful of the fallacious dryads who delight in 
troubling the absent-minded. 

The next year you presented yourself as a candidate at the Ecole 
Polytechnique and at the same time at the Ecole Normale ; for the latter 
you stood number five, for the former number one. Which of the two 
great schools would you choose ? That which decided your choice, more 
even than the familiar memories, than the temptation of the uniform 
and the glory of the sergeant-major's chevrons, was it not, tell us, the 
groaning of the mutilated fatherland ? But you never reached the point 
of entering upon a military career. Your scientific bent showed itself so 
brilliantly at the school that there was no question of another sort of 
glory ; your residence there is a matter of piously transmitted tradition. 
It is related that you attended your classes, at least in mathematics, 
without taking a note, without reading or even collecting the mimeo- 
graphed sheets which reproduce the professor's lecture. Your method 



272 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

was to classify the results established, to study their connections, with 
no care for the demonstrations, sure of finding others, if you happened 
to forget the ones which they had employed; at the time of your 
entrance examination, did you not find a new solution for a problem 
which had been set you? When you worked, you did not remain in 
your room, but gave your brain a promenade through the corridors, 
and in place of a pen, a pencil or a piece of chalk, your hand was busy 
with a bunch of keys — your opener of ideas. 

Your superiority in mathematics was so decided that, in spite of 
your inaptitude for anything practical — manipulations, linear design, 
imitative design — you were, at the closing examination, placed second, 
and admitted to the School of Mines. There you found life pleasant 
for more than one reason. In the first place, in the Latin Quarter, 
you lodged with one of your cousins, who was taking a literary and law 
course. . . . With him, in the practise of peripatetism — which was, 
perhaps, less a philosophical school than a physical peculiarity of philos- 
ophers and mathematicians — you followed those studious rounds in the 
course of which you discussed philosophic themes, already indissolubly 
associated in your mind, as in those of the ancients, with mathematical 
theories. 

In 1880, the Academy of Sciences had set as the subject of the 
mathematical great prize, the theory of differential equations. When 
the illustrious M. Hermite presented his report, he mentioned a dis- 
cussion bearing the motto: Non inultus premor, whose anonymous 
author he invited to persevere in a work which promised to produce 
results. The motto was that of Nancy ; you were the author ; but your 
paper was only a first sketch; you presented at that time only the 
results which you were soon to obtain and which, in the month of 
February, 1881, burst forth — it is the only exact phrase, says one of 
your admirers — in the report of the Academy of Sciences. From week 
to week, with the notes which you sent out regularly, your discovery 
increased in precision and amplitude for a period of nearly two years. 
Your contribution was the " the crowning of the work of Cauchy and 
Riemann, the representation of the coordinates of any algebraic curve 
in uniform functions, the integration of linear differential equations 
with algebraic coefficients — it was a new and immense perspective 
opened to view." 

This discovery was a great victory for French science. For some 
years the German geometers had been roving about the house without 
finding the door. You located it and opened it. 

From there I need not follow you in your career : Professor in the 
University of Paris and the Ecole Polytechnique, your lessons have had 
an unequaled vogue ; and if, among your auditors, many were not able 
to follow you, all agreed in proclaiming your astonishing superiority; 
at thirty-two } r ears you were elected a member of the Academy of 



POINCARE AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY 273 

Sciences, you have been called into the majority of the scientific socie- 
ties of two hemispheres ; you have received all the honors that a legiti- 
mate ambition could crave. Your name, going out beyond the narrow 
circle where your work can be appreciated, has become illustrious and 
added to a nation's glory, and this fame you owe only to yourself; it is 
the gift of no one, you have followed no master, you belong to no 
school, you are yourself — and that is enough. 

Similarly, when you undertake a criticism of science, you make it a 
personal matter, and without adopting any tradition, without bowing 
to any formula, you walk on in your independence and because you 
choose to. You run indeed, and so fast, with such bounds, that in order 
to follow you it is necessary to leap ditches and fill in gaps ; but you are 
built so. Original in mathematics, you remain so in this branch of 
philosophy; you apply to it, at the same time, a highly-developed in- 
terest in psychology, a rare aptitude for observing physiological phe- 
nomena in your own person, and that mathematical habit which organ- 
izes precision and with refined subtlety binds arguments together with 
chains that seem impossible to break. Restrained by nothing which you 
place confidence in or accept a priori, you build up your doubt against 
official science and sound its nothingness. So your work is double : in 
mathematics you erect to scientific truth a temple accessible only to the 
few initiates; and with your philosophic artillery you hurl into the air 
the chapels about which throng the crowds of rationalists and free- 
thinkers who by a common school certificate have acquired the right to 
believe in nothing which is not proved to them, to celebrate the mys- 
teries of a pretended religion of science. Ah, sir, what havoc you are 
making in these demonstrations ! Nothing would survive the rudeness 
of the blows you are dealing if you did not stop from time to time to 
banter your victims, or if^ seized with a sort of remorse, you did not 
amuse yourself by gluing together again the members you have broken. 
The axioms which seemed established by the wisdom of the ages are no 
longer more than definitions when you have passed; the laws become 
hypotheses; and at the same time that you prove the essential role of 
these hypotheses, you show their merely temporary utility — you make 
it evident that these definitions are convenient but ephemeral. What 
remains ? Nothing, or little more than nothing, and the most precious 
idols of primary religion go to join the dead stars in the depopulated 
heavens. 

Does this mean, sir, that you doubt science more than truth? 
Neither the one nor the other ; but the latter gives way constantly before 
the advance of the former, and, as man proceeds one step farther, the 
space he must cross withdraws before him; beyond the steppe whose 
extent his eye embraces, others await him, and still others, for he only 
is assured of reaching the end who stopped with the rudiments — and 
learned them by heart. . . . 

VOL. lxxv.— 18. 



274 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



COLLECTING AND CAMPING AFOOT 

BY A. 8. HITCHCOCK 

8Y8TBMATIC AGBO8TOLOGI8T, U. 8- DEPARTMENT OP AGBICULTUKI 

TT^ VERY naturalist wishes to spend a part of his time in the field, 
J— ^ observing, taking notes and making collections. It often hap- 
pens that such field work can be done best by camping. Methods em- 
ployed by field naturalists while camping vary according to the char- 
acter of the country and according to the objects to be attained. 

It is the purpose here to give a few hints concerning traveling on 
foot, and carrying a light camp outfit on the back as a pack. These 
hints are based upon considerable experience with this method of camp- 
ing in various parts of the United States, and are given with the hope 
that others may find them an aid in planning similar trips. This kind 
of camping can be of service only when the necessary collecting outfit 
and specimens collected are comparatively light in weight and when 
the area of the region to be covered is considerable. In my own work I 
can use this method because I am collecting only grasses which are 
easily prepared, and because I wish to cover in a single season a wide 
area, usually several states. I wish to travel quickly by railroad or 
other regular transportation, from one locality to another, often two or 
three hundred miles apart, spending one to five days in each place. It 
does not pay to outfit with wagon or pack animals for so short a time 
and one is not sufficiently mobile when stopping at hotels. With a light 
outfit one can start into the field as soon as he arrives at a station, thus 
saving much time. If more than five days is required for a given ex- 
cursion, I am in the habit of taking a pack animal to carry my outfit, 
as I can not conveniently carry in a pack provisions for more than that 
number of days. 

In calculating the details of an outfit one must first determine the 
weight he is able or willing to carry. If the weight carried is too great 
the mobility is too much reduced. Yet enough in the way of food, 
clothing and bedding must be carried to prevent too much risk to the 
health from short rations and exposure. The problem before us is to 
adjust the factors so that the result may represent a maximum effi- 
ciency. I endeavor to keep the total weight of my outfit within fifty 
pounds and we may assume in general that a man should limit his 
pack to a third of his own weight. With this weight I count on walk- 
ing fifteen to twenty miles a day over ordinary roads or trails that do 



COLLECTING AND CAMPING AFOOT 275 

not include over two thousand feet of total climbing. In climbing one 
can count on one thousand feet an hour, without a pack if the trail is 
steep. With a fifty-pound pack the time is about doubled. If one finds 
it necessary to carry more than the weight indicated, the distance 
traveled is correspondingly reduced. From the total weight one must 
subtract the weight of the collecting outfit. My own outfit consists of 
a wood slat press with straps, twenty-five light-weight driers, one hun- 
dred sheets of inner papers, a few ounces of cardboard slips for fastening 
over the bends in specimens, and my plant digger. The total weight is 
not over five pounds. The weight of the specimens gathered is not 
likely to be, on a single trip, more than five pounds, which increase in 
weight is, however, offset by the decrease in weight of supplies. We 
have then forty-five pounds for the remainder of the pack. 

The outfit may be considered conveniently under the following 
heads: clothing, bedding, cooking utensils, provisions, miscellaneous. 
The exact selection depends upon the length of the trip, the character 
of the country, climate, accessibility of supply stations and many other 
conditions which can not here be foreseen. It is clear that in the high 
Sierras more bedding is necessary than in Florida, that more provisions 
must be carried in a wilderness than in a settled country, and that 
rain or mosquitoes must be provided against where these occur. There- 
fore in discussing the requisites for an outfit I shall not make a definite 
selection, but shall offer suggestions as to such selection based upon my 
own experience. 

In my own work I travel from place to place with the usual baggage 
allowance of one hundred and fifty pounds aside from my hand baggage. 
In this baggage I carry such articles as I am likely to need at hotels 
where I may stop, and also a selection of camp equipment, and extra 
driers and other collecting supplies. Sometimes I go first to a hotel, 
where I leave my baggage while I make an excursion of a few days on 
foot. Sometimes I travel in camp clothes and pack, in which case I 
can leave my baggage at the depot and go at once into the country. 

Concerning clothes for camping, I can say little except that it is 
very necessary that the foot covering, whatever its other qualities, should 
be well fitted and well " broken in," for it is absolutely essential in a 
walking trip that the feet should be kept in good condition. As to 
other articles, I prefer heavy socks, wide-brimmed cowboy hat, and, in 
the mountains, woolen underwear. I usually go without a coat, but 
carry a sweater. The extra clothes may be reduced to an extra suit of 
underwear, an extra pair of socks, two large handkerchiefs and a pair 
of moccasins. The latter I use chiefly at night. 

The bedding may be reduced to a single blanket of moderate weight 
or two of light weight. I also carry a waterproof poncho. This is a 
protection against rain, dew or damp ground at night and can be used 



276 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

as a cape in the daytime in case of showers. I carry in my baggage a 
light, so-called balloon silk A tent for use in regions where one may 
expect rain at night. This has a ridge rope by which it is suspended 
and weighs six pounds. In mountain regions where the nights are 
cold I depend for warmth on keeping a fire during the night, rather 
than on carrying extra bedding. But in my baggage I carry a water- 
proof sleeping bag for use on longer trips with a pack animal. Where 
mosquitoes abound one must be provided with a cheese-cloth tent, or at 
least with a head veil. 

The cooking utensils may be reduced to a very few pieces, but in 
this aluminum age one may add a few luxuries. While one can with 
patience cook over a small fire between stones, this method has its dis- 
advantages. There may be no stones ; but even when these are present 
it is not easy to find them of the proper size and shape for the small 
vessels used by one person, such as a pail four inches in diameter. 
I therefore usually carry a " stove " or grate. This consists of three 
pieces of strap iron about fifteen inches long, fastened by four cross 
strips. This can be set across stones or small logs and is certainly a 
great convenience. It is strong enough to hold in the middle a quart 
of water. When packed it is placed in a cloth sack to prevent the soot 
from soiling other articles. Two or three dishes may be cooking at the 
same time by this means. The cooking utensils consist of a straight- 
sided coffee pot, a pail in which this fits, both of aluminum, all with the 
parts riveted, not soldered, and finally a small frying pan of iron. I 
have not found aluminum so satisfactory for the latter article, as foods 
cooked in it seem to burn more easily. A second small pail is a con- 
venience, in fact I often use in an emergency a tin fruit can with the 
top melted off and a wire bail attached. Each utensil used over the 
fire should be packed in a light cloth bag to prevent the soot from soil- 
ing the other articles. One can not take time to remove soot after each 
meal. In addition might be mentioned a plate and two bowls of 
aluminum, a drinking cup of tin (aluminum gets too hot), knife, fork 
and dessert spoon. I must not fail to mention the canvas bucket. 
This is light and collapsible, and is very convenient to bring a supply 
of water from a distance. One can not always camp in the immediate 
vicinity of water. The best matches are the old-fashioned sulphur kind 
that come in blocks. These should be kept in a waterproof box. In a 
recent work on camping I saw mentioned a handy contrivance for blow- 
ing the fire. It consists merely of a rubber tube with a short metal 
tube at the end. When cooking with such a small outfit it is necessary 
to use a small fire, frequently replenished. The blower serves a useful 
purpose for bringing the fire quickly into action. I ha*e used this 
article during the last season and can heartily recommend it to others. 
In describing my outfit I mentioned a plant digger. For this purpose 



COLLECTING AND CAMPING AFOOT 277 

I use an " intrenching tool," an implement in use in the army. This ig 
a broad-bladed knife of good steel which fits in a scabbard carried at the 
belt. It is an excellent thing with which to dig plants, but it can be 
used for several other purposes, the most important of which is to cut 
fire- wood and incidentally to make friends with vicious dogs. This tool 
may be obtained of Francis Bannerman, 549 Broadway, New York. . 

In choosing the food for such a trip as described one is limited .by: 
the available supply and is governed by one's tastes and by the necessity 
of reducing the total weight to a minimum. It is essential that the? 
ration be fairly well balanced. The following is given only as a sug-: 
gestion, as tastes and conditions are so variable. It is also to be remem-' 
bered that the supplies must be obtained from ordinary sources as found' 
in the region visited. A few kinds of food, such as erbswurst and dried' 
egg, I may provide at the beginning of the trip, as these can not be 
purchased at village grocery stores. For drinking I carry cocoa, as 
coffee is more bulky and tea I do not care for. If cold water of good 
quality can be obtained I drink the cocoa only at breakfast. To the 
cocoa I often add a little arrowroot. To avoid lumps the sugar may be 
mixed with the dry cocoa before the hot water is added. Milk I carry 
in condensed form. Dried milk is not so satisfactory, as it does not 
mix well for cooking, but it has the advantage of light weight. Since a 
can of condensed milk will last one or two days, according to size, it is 
necessary to protect an opened can or there will be a fine mess in one's 
baggage. I keep the can in a closed tin can just large enough to hold 
it. The milk can is opened by driving two small wire nails in the top 
at opposite sides. When not in use the nails remain in as stoppers. 
The foods may be classified into carbohydrates, fats, nitrogenous foods, 
fruits and condiments. Of the first may be mentioned sugar, which 
with me is an important article of diet, as I eat half a pound a day. 
The starchy foods present considerable variety. Bread heads the list, 
but not infrequently one is unable to obtain this at a supply station. 
Furthermore, on a walking trip one can scarcely count on carrying 
bread sufficient for more than two days. Flour is likely to be the 
staple. I have found self-rising pancake flour the most convenient, as 
this comes in small packages all ready for use. One can carry but a 
few pounds of flour and it is difficult to obtain so small a quantity of 
the ordinary sort at a store. Other starchy foods that I often use are 
grape nuts, cream of wheat (or similar breakfast food) and rice. This 
last, however, I do not much relish, though it is improved by cooking 
with raisins or dried fruit. When possible I add potatoes and onions, 
but both are bulky and can be carried only in small quantity. The fats 
are supplied usually by bacon. Butter can be carried only in the moun- 
tains where the climate is cool, otherwise it turns to oil. The nitrogen 
may be supplied by canned meats, which are heavy; by canned beans, 



278 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

which are also heavy; by dry beans, which take too long to cook to suit 
me, or by dried egg. I depend largely upon this last. It comes in 
convenient-sized cans and has proved very satisfactory. One can make 
omelette or scrambled eggs, or it can be mixed with the flour for cakes. 
I use the last method frequently, putting into the flour the equivalent 
of two eggs. Fruit is an essential in camping. I prefer dried cherries, 
but if these can not be obtained, I use prunes, dried peaches, apples or 
whatever is available. A package of raisins is a good thing to have. 
Of the condiments I carry only salt, as I do not care for pepper, vinegar 
and so on, which are inconvenient and superfluous articles for a pack. 
There are various kinds of concentrated soup packages on the market 
only one of which I have found worth carrying. That is erbswurst, sold 
by Abercrombie & Fitch Co., of New York. It is put up in pound, half- 
pound and quarter-pound packages and consists of a meal ground from 
peas, vegetables and meat, seasoned, ready for use by adding water. It 
is a balanced ration easy to prepare and very concentrated. On a forced 
march one could subsist upon this alone. 

The miscellaneous portion of the outfit includes a few toilet articles, 
a pocket dissecting outfit, together with bandages, carbolated vaseline, 
etc., for patching myself in case of accident, needle, thread, twine, 
safety-pins and similar small articles. For packing these and the food 
not contained in the original cases I use small cloth bags. The sugar, 
dried fruit, rice or even the flour or cream of wheat, is transferred to a 
cloth sack, as paper sack or pasteboard boxes will not withstand close 
packing. 

The greater part of the outfit is carried in a pack upon the back. 
If the bulk is small an ordinary soldier's knapsack is satisfactory. 
When it is necessary to carry more the outfit may be placed in two 
waterproof duffle bags and these carried in a strap pack. The most 
satisfactory pack that I have tried is the Merriam pack by which a por- 
tion of the weight is supported at the hips. 

In a trip of three to five days from a station, the outfit consists, 
then, of the Merriam pack in which is placed every thing except the 
poncho and blanket which are folded in a roll on the outside, the plant 
digger carried at the belt and the plant press carried in the hand. I 
carry in addition a haversack for overflow articles. I try to start with 
two loaves of bread, which being too bulky for the pack I place in the 
haversack. In this I carry also my note book and drinking cup. 

Having decided upon a route for a short trip, which should be ar- 
ranged if possible so that no portion is traveled over twice, I carry my 
pack to a favorable locality for collecting and unload. After exhaust- 
ing the collecting I move on to another place. Occasional plants are 
dug up without removing the pack but this is somewhat of a strain and 
should not be done regularly. One is obliged to rest every two or three 



COLLECTING AND CAMPING AFOOT 279 

miles, and by selecting the proper localities, these halts can be used for 
collecting. The pack can be removed by unfastening a single clasp. 
If long side trips are to be made, such as climbing a mountain, the 
outfit can be cached until the return. 

An average day in the field, thus equipped, would be about as fol- 
lows : Supposing that I have arrived in the forenoon at the terminus of 
a branch railway line in the mountains, I obtain such supplies as may 
be necessary and start at once toward what appears to be the most fav- 
orable collecting ground. At noon I eat a light lunch such as grape- 
nuts, usually not going to the trouble of making a fire. About five 
o'clock in the afternoon I begin to watch for a favorable camping spot. 
The requisites are good water, firewood in abundance and a comfortable 
location for my camp. As I carry no axe it is necessary that the fire- 
wood be in shape for use without chopping. At altitudes where the 
temperature sinks to 40° F., it is necessary to keep a fire all night, as 
the bedding carried is not sufficient to keep one comfortably warm. A 
level spot is selected and freed from stones, sticks and cones. It is an 
advantage if one can place his bed by a large rock or log and build the 
fire a short distance in front as the heat is then reflected and the wind 
is kept off. It is scarcely safe to build a fire against a large log or 
stump, as it may start a forest fire or it may at least be troublesome to 
put out the next morning. A supply of firewood should be placed near 
at hand and the fire replenished as needed, which is at intervals of 
about two hours during the night. There is no advantage in making 
a larger fire as one is driven farther away and gets cold just as soon 
when the fire dies out, and furthermore there is more danger from 
sparks falling on the blanket. It may be remarked that the falling 
temperature always wakes one up in time to replenish the fire if the 
nights are cold. Having gathered the firewood one prepares for sup- 
per. I do not utilize the large fire for cooking, but build a small fire 
near-by, under the grate previously described. The small fire can be 
controlled to suit the requirements. As one sits near the stove while 
cooking, the fire must not be too large. The supper is with me the 
important meal of the day. There is time to cook such articles as need 
prolonged boiling. At this meal I have pancakes, bacon, potatoes, 
onions, fruit or whatever my supplies will furnish. As the cooking 
utensils are limited to a frying pan, coffee pot, pail and tin can, the 
amount of cooking that can be carried on at one time is limited. 
Enough dried fruit is made into sauce to last for the breakfast and 
possibly the lunch following. Cream of wheat will also be cooked for 
the following breakfast. If potatoes are carried enough are boiled at 
night to give a small surplua for frying the next morning. As a matter 
of fact when one is alone it is necessary to limit the variety of food at 
any one meal, since it is not convenient to carry in a pack the surplus 
from a meal, especially if in liquid form. 



a8o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Supper over I go to bed at once. The bed consists of the ponchd 
and blanket doubled on the ground near the fire. I never take the 
trouble to collect boughs or otherwise prepare a bed, except to remove 
obstructions. If soft turf is present so much the better, but this does 
not often happen. Usually I sleep on the bare ground as bunch grass 
is not comfortable. As explained before I carry an extra suit of under- 
wear and a pair of socks. At night I remove the clothes worn during 
the day, put on dry underwear and socks, and if the weather demands> 
put on the other suit of underwear over the first, and finally flie 
sweater and moccasins, and am ready to fold myself in my blanket 
To do this I spread the blanket and poncho over me, roll first to one 
side, then to the other until the slack is taken up on each side. In this 
way the two edges are lapped beneath and I can roll to either side, the 
blanket remaining tight. For a pillow I use the bag in which I carry 
my clothes, filling it with leaves. I arise at dawn and retire soon after 
dark, for there is little to do when alone by a campfire. 

As partially indicated above the breakfast consists of cocoa and 
cream of wheat or other breakfast food cooked the night before, and if I 
am hungry enough, other food left from supper. The utensils are now 
cleaned and packed for the day. 

The plant driers are changed once or twice a day. As I usually 
carry only twenty-five driers, it is necessary to remove the plants and 
dry the driers in the sun, or if the weather is damp, before a campfire. 
Ordinarily in sunny weather I attend to the drying about 10 a.m. and 
2 p.m., most grasses being dry in twenty-four hours. In this way I can 
prepare about twenty-five specimens each day. But if the collecting is 
particularly good I can double the number by drying before the camp- 
fire at night. 

With the outfit I have described one can travel safely, that is, with- 
out subjecting himself to exposure, but the work is not easy. Of course 
if two persons arrange to travel in company the trip would be more 
pleasant and a few additional comforts might be included. One ad- 
vantage in traveling afoot is the mobility. Little time is lost in getting 
to the collecting ground and one is not confined to roads or trails as 
when traveling with pack animals. One can cross a mountain range 
or from one railroad to another. The available range with full com- 
plement of supplies is as much as one hundred miles. 

The traveler should be provided with good maps and a compass. 
Topographic sheets of a considerable portion of the country can be 
purchased from the United States Geological Survey. 

The above suggestions are offered for the purpose of aiding any 
who propose making natural history collections. I should not advise 
this method for those who are going for pleasure only, as it is hard 
work and the necessary drudgery is only balanced by the increased op- 
portunity for collecting and observing. 



AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE 281 



THE NECESSITY FOR AN INTEBNATIONAL LANGUAGE 

By IVY KELLERMAN, Ph.D. 

CHICAGO 

IT was urged by a certain Greek philosopher that in ignorance alone 
lay the real reason of wrong-doing, and that none who truly under- 
stood the right could thereafter be guilty of wrong. Ignorance in a 
narrower sense has been offered as the explanation for misunderstand- 
ing and consequent trouble of a more or less serious nature between 
nations and races as well as between individuals. Ignorance of one 
another's civilization, lack of appreciation of each other's character and 
ideals, failure to comprehend the motives of essentially simple actions 
— all these are at fault when great nations disagree. No other inter- 
pretation is indeed possible, since longing for power, love of conquest, 
lust to slay, can hardly be suggested in calm seriousness as motivating 
the actions of nations who are followers of the gentle Jesus, the kindly 
Buddha, the wise Confucius, in a supposedly civilized century. 

It seems strange at first that there should be room for such lack of 
mutual understanding and sympathy, in view of the vaunted increase 
of international intercourse, due to the many opportunities of com- 
munication by mail and by wire, to the great interchange of commodi- 
ties made possible by commercial progress, and to the growing facilities 
for international travel. It seems strange, also, when we recollect that 
in the employ of every nation there are numerous persons skilled in the 
language of every other nation of political or commercial importance, 
to serve the one as interpreters of the thoughts and words of the other, 
and to translate the ideas and ideals of these peoples for each other in 
any emergency that may arise. Such experts are found likewise in all 
great educational centers. There is not a university without its corps 
of trained linguists, while its leaders in all of the various departments 
must possess a fair degree of familiarity with numerous foreign tongues. 
Even the students are becoming slightly cosmopolitan. A few Amer- 
icans and Englishmen and Orientals are found at every European 
university of note, while in America are scattered students from Europe, 
from the far east and from South America. 

Therefore we may claim to have interpreters. They are few indeed, 
in proportion to the number needed, as has been forcibly pointed out, 
with the plea that "governments, universities, churches, chambers of 
commerce, should have some definite plan of raising up a body of 
sympathetic scholars, who shall be first-hand interpreters of one nation 
to the other." 1 

But in this very claim lies the explanation of the puzzle. As long 

1 Document 15 of the American Association for International Conciliation: 
w American Ignorance of Oriental Languages," by J. H. DeForest, D.D., page 12. 



282 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

as interpreters are needed, as long as the ability to interpret rests only 
with the officials of the government, the faculties of the universities, 
and the small proportion of citizens and students who have opportunity 
of extended residence in at least one country besides the native one, 
just so long is perfect understanding impossible. For perfect under- 
standing between two nations results from an understanding between a 
majority of the citizens of these two nations, not from even the most 
perfect understanding and appreciation of one by but a small minority 
in the other. This is true even if the minority happens to be the 
political body in control. For in one way or another the people rule, 
and public opinion and desire, however faulty, exert a mighty influence. 

Accordingly, if international sympathy and agreement rest upon 
adequate mutual understanding attained through the complete compre- 
hension of more languages than the mother-tongue among the general 
public — whether these languages be spoken, printed in newspapers, 
pamphlets and books, or written in letters amicably exchanged — the 
immediate solution suggesting itself is this : Let all or a majority of the 
citizens of each nation learn thoroughly the language of each other 
nation. Then will the barrier to intercommunication disappear. Each 
individual may read at will and at once the publications of every other ; 
may express his ideas and have his questions answered, orally or by 
correspondence, with citizens of any nation; and may feel himself 
linguistically at home in any country of the world, without the present 
need of guidebooks, couriers and interpreters, ever provocative of 
mutual distrust. 

Such a proposition is, however, utterly futile from a practical point 
of view. Persons in comfortable financial circumstances may learn 
several languages besides their own, business men stationed in foreign 
countries may do so to some extent, and peasant immigrants may do the 
same in limited degree; but the possessor of more than a moderate 
familiarity with two or three languages is called a linguist, and placed 
in a class apart, as differing by that very fact from the majority of 
mankind. Genuine admiration is accorded any person who has com- 
pletely mastered three or four languages in addition to his mother- 
tongue, and speaks and writes all of them with equal fluency, exactness 
and elegance. Nor is any one surprised to hear that such an expert 
spends many years and much care in acquiring these three or four lan- 
guages with a reasonable perfection of pronunciation, syntax and style, 
or that teaching this is in itself a profession worthy of remuneration. 

Yet to be truly a polyglot one must be familiar with not only French 
and German, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, each difficult of mas- 
tery, and the Scandinavian languages, but also Dutch, Flemish, Por- 
tuguese, Roumanian, Catalonian, Greek and the many languages allied 
to Russian, such as Bohemian, Polish, Servian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, 
etc., and also the non- Aryan tongues of Europe, such as Hungarian and 



AN INTERNATIONAL LANOUAOE 283 

Finnish and the scattered Yiddish. Not even with this may he be 
content, although it demand the work of a lifetime and more, but must 
turn to the east, with its Persian, Armenian, Arabic, Turkish and 
numerous Hindoo tongues, and then pass on to China and Japan, and 
even to Korea. 

Who can boast of all this? Yet who will deny that not one nor 
many, but in truth each and every one, of the intelligent citizens of 
every nation should have the power of overcoming these linguistic 
barriers ? This is one of the great needs of the civilized world, as urged 
in the Prime Minister's address at the Seventeenth Universal Peace 
Congress held in London, July, 1908 : " I have said it before, but I 
would say it again, the main thing is that nations should get to know 
and understand one another." This is profoundly true. Not only the 
future but the present of these various-tongued races and nations is 
intertwined to such an extent that the power of free intercommunica- 
tion is an imperious necessity. But if this direly needed intercourse 
is so impossible of universal or even fairly general attainment under 
existing circumstances, another solution must be sought. 

The solution that presents itself next is, that some one of these 
languages be chosen for universal international use. Next after the 
mother-tongue, this should be learned by every inhabitant of the civil- 
ized world, and all publications of any importance whatever should be 
published directly or in duplicate in this international medium. All 
international correspondence should be thus conducted, and the lan- 
guage likewise used in all international assemblies and conventions. 
To learn one language besides the native tongue would not be so abso- 
lutely impossible as the absurd idea of learning many or all of them. 
The proposal is good, and the selection of this language at once becomes 
a problem worthy of attention, for that one language should serve all 
nations of the world in international dealings is eminently reasonable. 

The place of a semi-common language among the educated classes 
was held by Latin in the middle ages, and the mind at once reverts to 
this, with speculations as to the possibility of its revival. But Latin 
can not serve this purpose. Its vocabulary is too limited and too 
unsuitable for discussion of modern themes, since even a bicycle or an 
umbrella demands circumlocution in Latin, while the introduction of 
new and modern words would destroy its purity, and make it but a 
barbarous hodge-podge of Latin forms. Moreover, the difficulties of 
Latin grammar and syntax prevent this language from being easily 
mastered. Only at the expense of much time and effort can the modern 
mind completely assimilate the ancient ways of word-inflection and 
sentence construction. Any one may admire the purity and severe 
elegance of Ciceronian Latin, but not every one is able to imitate it. 
Yet Ciceronian Latin would unhesitatingly be chosen as the standard 
for a revivification of this tongue. The silver Latinity and that of the 



284 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

middle ages are as out of the question as the " modern " Latin which 
for want of a better medium is forced to serve in a multitude of scien-' 
tific classifications and descriptions of the present day. This too is in 
regard to Latin as a written language. Speaking it is a still more diffi- 
cult problem, one before which even the Latin specialist is ill at ease.' 
It is evident that the idea of bringing Latin in any shape into real use 
as an auxiliary language in the busy modern world is absolutely hopeless. 

What is true of Latin is equally true of Greek, with its own peculiar 
alphabet, used by no other language, and its even greater remoteness 
from present European tongues, in spite of the many derivatives from it 
in modern vocabularies, especially in technical terminology, and in spite 
of the fact that the idiom developed from ancient Greek is a spoken 
language to-day. The languages of the past can not serve the peoples' 
of the present in any immediate and practical capacity. 

The next alternative is the consideration of the modern and living 
languages. For French was the accepted language of European courts, 
in times not yet remote, as well as the language of diplomacy and of 
polite literature ; although, as in the case of Latin, this language too was 
semi-universal among chiefly the educated and politically powerful 
classes. Is it feasible to restore French to that high estate from which 
it has now fallen ? Hardly so, with English a powerful competitor, and 
German vying with both. From this very competition it is clear that 
neither French nor any other national speech can to-day or to-morrow 
become the accepted auxiliary language. This idea, untenable now, 
may find acceptance in the far future, after the establishment of inter- 
national unity and understanding, and after the forgetting of inter- 
national jealousies and struggles for political preferment and commer- 
cial supremacy. But at present it is plainly "Utopian. No nation of 
to-day will yield to any one other nation the immense commercial and 
political advantage given by permitting the mother-tongue of that 
nation to become the accepted medium for international dealings. No 
American or Englishman would consent to an attempt to have German 
used exclusively, in his intercourse with Spanish-speaking peoples, or 
any other peoples, nor would he consent to French for such a sole 
medium. No German would accept French in this capacity, or 
English; nor would the Frenchman be a whit more generous. This 
same feeling, intermingled with a host of ancient grudges, would extend 
to the lesser nations whose languages meet with still less consideration 
in such theorizing. 

In days of old, that nation politically most powerful might some- 
times thrust its language upon conquered peoples, by sheer force of 
arms. This method is rather impracticable to-day, although a hint of 
it remains in the ineffectual struggles of the Poles to retain their own 
idiom in spite of the " official " tongues established among them, or of 
the Boers against the "official" English. Clinging to the native 



AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE 285 

tongue overbalances practical and economic considerations, and hence 
the Flemish, Celtic and similar " revivals." 

The proportion of those speaking a certain language is no less im- 
practicable a basis for the choice of an international auxiliary medium. 
Leaving out the question of Asiatic tongues, in spite of their supe- 
riority in this regard, the selection is among those same reciprocally 
jealous nations, namely, Bussian, French, English and German. More- 
over, this method would be unfair to multitudes among nations speak- 
ing other languages. For even French (in France, Belgium and 
Switzerland) is spoken by only about forty-five millions among the 
three hundred and fifty millions of Europeans, English by about forty 
millions, and so on. If the calculation be made upon a wider basis, and 
the new world and the far east included, the additional figure for Eng- 
lish would be more than neutralized by the additional figure for Span- 
ish tongues and the entrance of the multitudinous non-Aryan as well 
as Aryan languages. 

Let still a different basis for the selection be offered : Let that lan- 
guage be chosen which is the easiest of acquirement for all peoples to 
whom some other language than this is the native tongue. This is even 
more perplexing. The people of each nation, accustomed to the na- 
tional language from infancy, are unconscious of its peculiarities and 
irregularities, its difficulties of pronunciation, inflection and syntax, 
and its various idiomatic expressions. Not aware that these are diffi- 
culties, they unhesitatingly declare their own language the easiest of all. 
Yet English-speaking people would debar German from the choice be- 
cause its mastery takes far too long, and is woefully hampered by the 
umlaut vowels, the three categories of grammatical gender, the compli- 
cated verb and the troublesome word-order. Similar objections exist 
for the Scandinavian languages, while against Bussian are its additional 
vowels and additional consonant combinations, its perfective verbs, its 
seven-case substantive, with changing declensions for noun, adjective 
and pronoun, and three classes of formal gender, its alphabet which 
like Greek and German would need transliteration into the more uni- 
versal and therefore also more economical Boman characters. French 
would be dismissed because of the " French u," the nasals, the varying 
verbal forms, the grammatical gender, quite as annoying as the gender 
of three categories in the previously mentioned languages, inasmuch as 
the assignment of those categories is entirely arbitrary in each from the 
point of view of the others, and the irregular plurals, and the many 
fine distinctions which make complete mastery all but hopeless. Of 
Spanish and Italian much the same may be said. English is quite as 
much out of the question as any other language. A smattering of it, as 
of the others, is obtainable without great difficulty, but to learn it well, 
to overcome all of its difficulties, is another matter. English contains 
three consonant sounds peculiar to English alone, the w, the sound 



286 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

represented by th in with, and the surd represented by the same digraph 
in pith. The accentuation is irregular and perplexing, while the orthog- 
raphy is hopeless. A half-dozen sounds may be represented by one 
letter or combination of letters, or one sound may be represented by as 
many varying signs. 2 

There are irregular verbs, about 175 in number, numerous irregular 
and defective plurals, and a want of clearness due to the fact that nouns, 
particles, adjectives, adverbs and verbs may have the same form, and 
that different tenses of the verb may be identical in form, whether 
or not identical in sound. There is also a more or less stereotyped and 
yet elusive word-order. 

Any and all of the national languages are then out of the question, 
first because none can yet secure adoption even if it were suitable, and 
second, because none is suitable. To be capable of truly international 
use a language must be possible of complete acquirement by all, 
whether linguistically gifted or not, and must be possible of such ac- 
quirement in such short space of time as can be devoted to this by the 
majority of the busy citizens of the world. Its acquirement must be 
an incidental preparation for one's profession or business, not an end 
in itself, or a matter of higher culture for the few. 

Hence the thought of modifying some one of these languages, or 
combining them, or in some way forming a neutral language, objection- 
able to none on political or sentimental grounds, easily mastered by all, 
and therefore recognized by all nations and races as the accepted 
medium for international communication. That it must appeal to all 
sufficiently to be thus accepted is an important item, for, as has been 
previously intimated, nothing of this kind can be forced into use. It 
must be such a language that every intelligent citizen of each nation 
can and will learn it, as the first language to be mastered after his 
mother-tongue, to be able to read it, speak it and write it, in his capacity 
as a citizen of the world, and as an intelligent citizen of his own nation. 

Since the days of Descartes this dream has haunted one and 
another, and plans for such a tongue have been proposed, necessarily 
crude at first, gaining in value as time went on, and as each author of 
such a plan profited by the faults in the projects of his predecessors. 
The earliest attempts were to create a language of philosophical or a 
priori nature, in which words are reduced to mere formulae, a certain 
letter of the alphabet indicating the concrete, another vegetable life, 
another animal life and so on. The idea, although wholly impracti- 
cable, has not yet entirely disappeared, and a priori schemes are still oc- 
casionally promulgated. One project, for example, has the following 

1 Note for example the different signs for the one consonant sound in gasA, 
fasAion, mission, conscious, fetich, nation, vicious, etc., the different signs for 
the same sound in raze, raise, rays, tael, gaol, gauge, great, fete, matinee, eh, 
eight, they; the different sounds given to oh in cAarm, cAasm, chandelier; the 
interchange of e and z sounds in loee, loose, a*ure, leisure, rage, race, erase, etc. 



AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE 287 

formations upon the letter m: mab, " mankind "; mac, " monkey "; 
mad, " cat " ; maf, " dog " ; mag, " bear " ; mas, " horse " ; me, " bird " ; 
mi, " reptile " ; mo, " fish," etc. Quite the opposite of these are the 
a posteriori languages, based upon the principle of borrowing, select- 
ing and simplifying from already existing languages. This latter 
method, with a negligible admixture of the a priori, proves the only 
sound one, and all projects meeting with the slightest favor have been 
of this class. Among the numerous languages proposed, two alone have 
succeeded in obtaining any prominence or general publicity. The first 
of these was Volapiik, published in 1880. Societies for its propaganda 
were organized, some instruction books and several magazines pub- 
lished. The success of the language, in spite of its crudities and too 
great difficulty, afforded proof that an international language was de- 
sired. But dissensions arose, chiefly as to whether numerous proposed 
changes should be introduced, with or without the consent of the author, 
who had assumed an unfortunate attitude of ownership of the language. 
By giving attention to discussion of such matters instead of to propa- 
ganda work, the Volapiikists lost all they had gained. 

Their bitter experience taught a lesson to the promulgators of the 
only other important project for an international language, the only 
one which to-day receives general attention. When overzealous theor- 
ists proposed changes in Esperanto, and insisted upon the adoption of 
their " improvements " the great majority of Esperantists refused 
to countenance any sudden or radical changes, declaring instead 
for a uni^y and stability. Their action was the more decisive in 
that the proposed improvements appealed to them as simply the mar- 
ring of a language already proved satisfactory and practicable, and 
already existing as a living language, in which any changes should 
come gradually and systematically. The smaller restless and theorizing 
element attempted to create a schism through the use of various publi- 
cations attacking Esperanto or Esperantists, and arrived at a somewhat 
unstable idiom of their own, which was called simplified Esperanto by 
some and a new language by others, among its advocates. A certain 
amount of newspaper notoriety was obtained in both Europe and 
America, but no definite or serious results. 

The wisdom of the Esperantists as a whole is apparent in the progress 
due to their steadfastness and united effort. Those who know more or 
less of the language are reckoned by hundreds of thousands, judging by 
the number of text-books sold by responsible publishing houses, but the 
number of persons announced as being in the actual propaganda move- 
ment consists only of those who are registered and paying members of 
some official organization, such as the national associations, British, 
French, German, Japanese, American, 8 and various international or- 

• Esperanto Association of North America, headquarters, 3981 Langley 
Avenue, Chicago. 



288 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

ganizations, such as those of Esperantist physicians, scientists, pacifists, 
and many others. Propagated steadily but unobtrusively in all quar- 
ters of the world, the international language idea, represented by Es- 
peranto, has loomed large and become a reality, even in this short space 
of time since its presentation to the world. Doubtless one reason is 
that the unbounded possibilities of the practical side of the language 
have only as yet begun to develop, while the insistence upon the ideals 
of " Esperantism " has been emphasized. This word Esperantism has 
come to stand for a spirit of tolerance and conciliation which is dis- 
tinctly worthy of note, and which materially aids in paving the way for 
ultimate complete understanding and " the federation of the world." 

It is a significant fact that the two nations which may be said to 
hold the linguistic balance of power, since their decision for the inter- 
national language and their refusal to continue struggling with the 
manifold tongues of Europe, except for cultural purposes, would have 
great and well-nigh decisive weight, namely, the United States and 
Japan, were the two countries to send official government representa- 
tives to the last (fourth) International Esperanto Congress, held in 
Dresden, August, 1908. 4 For these two nations whose more and more 
intimate relations demand better mutual understanding and apprecia- 
tion, as forcibly pointed out in the document previously mentioned, the 
most immediate and practicable method of obtaining such general and 
immediate intercourse lies ready at hand. The Esperanto movement, 
strongest in Europe, has found favorable reception in Japan, whose 
minister of foreign affairs is president of the Japanese Esperanto As- 
sociation. In the United States the present propaganda association is 
less than a year old, yet the number and quality of persons interested 
in the idea and movement is such that European Esperantists expect to 
be invited to the United States for the Sixth Annual International 
Esperanto Congress, in 1910. It is to be hoped that this will come to 
pass, and that some educational institution of note will open its doors 
for the occasion, as did Cambridge University for the Congress in Eng- 
land in 1907. In the meantime, it certainly behooves every one who 
approves of the wide-spread international acquaintance, understanding 
and conciliation, to examine this language which offers such great pos- 
sibilities, since it has proved itself fully worthy of consideration in the 
brief time that it has existed as a living language. It behooves every 
one to examine it, and to aid its promulgation as best he may, by advo- 
cating it, by urging its introduction into schools and publishing in it, 
entire or in abstract, at least some of the writings which he now offers 
to the reading public in English or some other national idiom only. 
For Esperanto is solving the problem of an international language, 
which is " An attempt to save the greatest amount of labor, and open 
the widest fields of thought and action to the greatest number." 

4 Cf. the report made by the U. S. delegate, Major P. F. Straub, of the 
U. S. Medical Corps, published in the Army and Navy Register, January 16, 1909. 



WHAT IS A LIVING ANIMAL? 289 



WHAT IS A LIVING ANIMAL? HOW MUCH OF 
IT IS ALIVE? 

By Dr. A. F. A. KING 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

CONSIDERING the second question first, the reply to it will depend 
a good deal upon education. An extremely ignorant person 
might answer that all parts of a living body are alive except the bones. 
It required some education before we medical men learned to realize, 
without surprise, that crude metallic bodies — bullets, pins, needles, wire 
sutures buried in our internal organs, nails driven into our fractured 
bones by surgeons, finger rings, scissors, forceps, spectacles, etc., left in 
the peritoneal cavity by careless operators — could remain in a human 
body without any immediate danger to life. 

We had to learn also that large crystalline masses — the various 
forms of calculi — and dead foetuses; lithopodians ; even dead children 
at full term, both intra- and extra-uterine — could remain in a living 
body for several decades without any immediate danger to life. Thus 
we learn from these crude examples that living bodies may contain dead 
bodies, and dead substances of various kinds. Numerous other in- 
stances will now be considered. 

The protective shells of some animals, the epidermal appendages 
(horns, tusks, hoofs, claws, nails, hair, wool, etc.), of others, are only 
alive at their proximal ends — their "roots" so-called. Their distal 
extremities are not living. They are products of life, but so are our 
coal beds, chalk cliffs, coral reefs and tortoise shell combs, but they are 
not alive. 

If we ask, Where is the line of division between the dead and living 
in a cow's horn, or an elephant's tusk, we must reply, there is no such 
line. The transition from living to dead tissue is a gradational one. 
And this simple example should help to dispel the common error that 
everything in this world must be either dead or alive. Not so. It may 
be between the two : neither one or the other. Here, if anywhere, the 
old truism, Natura non facet saltern, deserves special recognition. 

We must certainly realize that the gases, foodstuffs and excremen- 
titious matters in the alimentary canal and the contents of the urinary 
bladder are not alive. Is the bile living? Bile is an excrement from 
the hepatic cells, the histological units of the liver, which find it neces- 
sary to discharge their toxic excreta into those minute drains, the bile 
ducts, and thence into the main sewer of the intestine. In thus main- 
taining their own normal metabolism, they save us from hepatic 
toxaemia. Bile is not alive. 

vol. lxxv. — 19. 



2 9 o THE POPULAR SCIENCE .MONTHLY 

Is milk a living substance? It is a saline solution, containing 
sugar and albumen. Microscopically we find it swarming with the post- 
mortem d6bris of epithelium cells that have undergone fatty degenera- 
tion. It is the fatty dust into which these dead cells have crumbled 
that rises to the surface as cream and when amassed in the churn con- 
stitutes the butter of commerce. Milk is emphatically a dead material. 

What of that milky emulsion we call chyle ? We can not say it is 
alive in the intestine ; nor does it become so in the thoracic duct, nor in 
the subclavian vein. Neither does mingling with the blood give it life. 
It is dead. 

What of the blood itself? Commonly we speak of it as being 
"warm with life." Not so in cold-blooded animals. Again, it is re- 
ferred to as the "vital fluid," the "life-blood"; and we say: "the 
blood is the life thereof." So it is, in the sense that we can not live 
without it, and if we lose it by hemorrhage we die. Nevertheless, the 
blood is not alive. Its corpuscles are, but the plasma in which they 
float is not living. This plasma is the natural habitat of the living 
corpuscle (much in the same way as a pond of water is the natural 
habitat of Amoeba proteus), but it is not alive. 

Can our blood corpuscles live in a dead plasma? It is not very 
long ago that in cases of hemorrhage we injected into the blood vessels 
large quantities of cow's milk; now-a-days we inject salt solution. In 
some cases we inject so much of these dead fluids that the quantity may 
exceed that of the normal blood plasma left behind after the hem- 
orrhage. Hence we know by actual experiment, in these cases, that 
the larger part of the blood plasma mixture is not alive. 

Furthermore, human leucocytes have been kept alive in normal salt 
solution outside of the body for many hours, retaining all their 
amoeboid and phagocytic properties; and recently in a properly pre- 
pared solution containing 3 per cent, of sodium citrate and 1 per cent, 
of sodium chloride, B. C. Boss has kept human leucocytes three days 
alive and has caused them to protrude and retract the most remarkably 
long pseudopodia so that they actually resembled squids, or tarantulas. 1 
Thus we see a living plasma is not necessary for the blood corpuscles : 
they flourish in a dead one. The blood plasma is not alive. 

In the days of venesection we were taught that the last act of vitality 
in blood when drawn from the body was its coagulation, but is this 
really any more a vital process than the clotting of sour milk? I 
think not. 

In the same category with milk and blood plasma, we must place 
lymph, the fluids in the pleura, pericardium, peritoneum and synovial 
sacs, and also the cerebro-spinal fluid ; none of them is alive. 

It might be supposed that the delicate structures of our central 

1 London Lancet, January 30, 1909, p. 314. 



WHAT Iti A LIVING ANIMAL? 291 

nervous system must at least be protected from contact with dead 
fluids. Not so. In cases of cerebro-spinal meningitis, we draw off 
the cerebro-spinal fluid and inject into the cerebro-spinal canal a cura- 
tive antimeningitic serum that has stood on the shelves of its manu- 
facturer, cold and dead, for half a year or more before being used. 

In this line of thought we have reached the conclusion that the 
crystalline masses, gases and fluids in an animal body are none of them 
truly alive. 

What have we left? What parts of the body do live? The- his- 
tological units — the individual cells: these are the living inhabitants, 
in that great organic community, which constitutes a living animal. 

The fluids of the body are inert plasmata designed for the main- 
tenance, nourishment and functional integrity of these living units. 
The cells of the body are alive, but nothing else in it can be truly said 
to live. 

Let us now ask: When an animal dies how much of it is dead? 
An ignorant person would reply : " All of it." Not so. The cells of a 
corpse remain alive some considerable time after the man has ceased to 
breathe. The cells of the liver continue their glycogenic function. 
Active spermatozoa have been found in the testicle, and living leuco- 
cytes in the cavities of the heart, many hours after death. The skin of 
a recent corpse can be successfully transplanted into a living person, as 
may also some of the internal organs, bones and joints. Recently one 
of our surgeons 2 has transplanted an entire knee joint (a healthy one) 
from the body of a corpse into the limb of a person from whom a dis- 
eased knee joint had been just previously removed. The case is pro- 
gressing favorably. 8 

In the retrogressive phenomena of death as in the evolution of living 
from dead matter, the old saying of nature not making leaps, again 
asserts itself, and the prevalent error that everything must be either 
dead or alive, with no intermediate gradations, becomes pronouncedly 
manifest. 

We now come to the question : What is a living animal ? The one 
most marked characteristic of things that are truly alive is motion, 
especially locomotive auto-mobility, to which must be added growth and 
reproduction. 

It is now generally admitted that the basis of life is electricity. 
The power that produces muscular motion, cell-movement, cell-division, 
cell union (as in fecundation), and embryological growth, is essentially 
a form of electro-magnetic energy, this energy being generated by the 
successive chemical decompositions and syntheses — the electrolytic asso- 

2 Dr. Tully S. Vaughn, of Washington, D. C. 

* It is now six weeks since the operation. There have been a few similar 
cases in Germany. 



292 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

ciations and dissociations of atoms and molecules — of anions and 
cations — in the complex phenomena of metabolism throughout the body. 
No nutritive change, even in a single cell, can take place without a dis- 
turbance of electric equilibrium and the development of an electric 
current, be it ever so diminutive. Nerve force, electricity and " vital 
force " are identical in so far as they are all manifestations of electro- 
magnetic energy. Every histological unit in an animal body is a 
diminutive battery in which such energy is evolved. This, I think, is 
common knowledge, that has passed beyond the realm of theory. 

Perhaps the crudest and most evident illustration of the production 
of electricity by animal metabolism is exhibited in the electric fishes: 
the torpedo, the Gymnotus (electric eel), the Malapterurus (electric 
catfish), the skate and others. In these forms, it is true, we find a 
special electric apparatus, consisting of some hundreds of columns made 
up of millions of superimposed plates or discs, arranged transversely to 
the length of the columns and separated from one another by an 
albuminous liquid, thus resembling a voltaic pile. The distribution, 
or discharge of this electric energy is controlled by nerves emanating 
from the medulla oblongata. Thus the animal, at will, can shock and 
capture its prey, and even emit charges, in some instances, sufficient to 
injure, and perhaps kill, even men and horses. 

A more delicate method of demonstrating the identity of nerve force 
and electricity was shown at the last meeting of the International Con- 
gress of Electrology and Badiology held in the University of Amster- 
dam, 4 when Professor Salomonson, by using Einthoven's string-galvan- 
ometer (a sort of electric microscope), was able to measure, and render 
visible on a photographic plate, the electric current producing one con- 
traction of a single muscle, for example, that of the quadriceps femoris 
during the patellary reflex. Even currents producing contractions in 
the cardiac muscles were exhibited. He presented on the screen a 
cardiogram, by which, he remarks : " Each muscular fiber of the heart 
has written its own sign-manual on the photographic plate." By means 
of this device he was able to exhibit visibly events successively occurring 
at intervals of one one-hundredth of a second, and electric nerve cur- 
rents so small as the one ten-thousandth part of a single volt. 

Now if every living animal, and every cell within it, be really an 
electrical machine — a generator of electro-magnetic energy — it is evi- 
dent that in order to secure and use the power thus produced the appa- 
ratus must be insulated from its surroundings, otherwise the electricity 
would instantly escape back into the earth whence it came. All our 
electric machines and batteries are thus insulated. 

Are animal bodies provided with this electric insulation ? They are. 

4 Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, November, 1908. 



WHAT IS A LIVING ANIMAL? 293 

The insulatory resistance of the bare human skin varies from 1,000 to 
6,000 ohms. In many animals the insulation is increased by non-con- 
ducting hair, wool, fur, etc. And naked man finds it expedient to rein- 
force his own insulation by clothing of silk, satin, hair, wool, flannel 
and other non-conducting materials. We are exhilarated by a dry 
atmosphere: depressed by a damp one, because the moist air, being a 
conductor, carries off some of our electricity to the earth, while dry air 
is a more complete insulator and prevents this leakage. 

Besides contact with the air, the feet of animals are in actual con- 
tact with the earth itself, and accordingly ought to be endowed with a 
specially good insulation. 

Finding no data on this point, I submitted to the U. S. Bureau of 
Standards some specimens of a horse's hoof, to have their insulation 
tested. The director, Professor S. W. Stratton, wrote me 5 that the 
resistance of the first specimen, when dry, was 4,700 million ohms. 
This was a part of the " frog " of the foot. A second specimen, taken 
from the peripheral margin of the hoof was tested, of which the bureau 
reported 6 that " by the direct-deflection method, using 120 volts and a 
very sensitive galvanometer, the deflection was so small that it could 
not be read." " The resistance was equal to or greater than 22 billion 
ohms. This corresponds to a specific resistance of about 16.5 X 10 10 
ohms per centimeter cube." Professor Stratton adds : " Of course the 
actual resistance may be much higher, as it was too high to determine 
with any accuracy by this means." 

Subsequently, Professor Chas. W. Mortimer, of the George Wash- 
ington University, by using his Wheatstone Bridge apparatus, kindly 
tested for me, altogether, 67 specimens of animal and some vegetable 
structures, as to the insulating power of their external coverings. The 
specimens included the feet, claws and bills of sheep, rabbits and chick- 
ens; the fresh human umbilical cord, foetal membranes and placenta; 
the shell of an egg; the external coverings of fruits (oranges, apples, 
nuts, etc.) and of vegetables (turnips, onions, etc.). 

In no instance did the external covering fail to exhibit a relatively 
greater resistance than the internal structure. In most of the speci- 
mens the resistance hovered about 10,000,000 ohms, some more, some 
less. In one instance, that of a green pea pod, the resistance of the un- 
broken pod was 500,000 ohms, while the external surface of the green 
pea itself was 10,000,000 ohms. 

I did not test any cereal grains, but Mr. Lyman J. Briggs, of the 
Bureau of Plant Industry, U. S. Department of Agriculture, has re- 
cently ascertained that the resistance of wheat grains, varying with 

• Official letter, October 23, 1903. 
•Official letter, January 21, 1904. 



294 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

temperature and moisture, is somewhere between 2 million and 10,000 
million ohms. 7 

It is conceivable that the grains of wheat exhumed with Egyptian 
mummies would scarcely have retained their germinating power after 
so many centuries had not nature clothed them with their insulating 
shells, and passing from these diminutive little lives of eggs, grains 
and cells, it is conceivable that this globe that we inhabit would itself 
become a moving sepulchre, devoid of all molecular transformations of 
energy, were it not for the external envelope of insulating atmosphere 
with which it is clothed. Without this insulation the energy of solar 
light and heat would no longer be transformed into things of beauty 
and life; but would at once be dissipated into the abysses of space and 
our earth would probably become as dead as the moon, which has no 
insulating covering, and, consequently, upon whose face, within the 
memory of man, no single change of feature has been observed. 

In the foregoing discussion my purpose has been to lay the founda- 
tion for a modified definition of life. Every one is familiar with 
Spencer's definition, viz: 

Life is the definite combination of heterogeneous changes, both simultaneous 
and successive, in correspondence with external coexistences and sequences. 8 

Never, perhaps, did human language attempt to express so much in 
so few words. In fact it is so condensed as to be difficult of compre- 
hension. If the definition had been given first, few of us would ever 
guess that life was the thing it intended to define. 

On page 80, Spencer says : 

The broadest and most complete definition of life will be: the continuous 
adjustment of internal relations with external relations. 

De Blainville said : 

Life is the twofold internal movement of composition and decomposition 
at once general and continuous. 

Criticizing this definition, Spencer remarks : 

It describes not only the integrating and disintegrating processes going on 
in a living body, but it equally well describes those going on in a galvanic 
battery which also exhibits a two-fold internal movement of composition and 
decomposition at once general and continuous. 9 

At the time Spencer wrote (1866), biology was not sufficiently 
advanced for him to realize that every cell in the body really was a 
minute electric battery, and that the coordinate and simultaneous action 
of millions of these batteries made up together the living body of a 
complete animal. 

* Science, December 4, 1908, p. 812, and Bulletin 99, 1907, Bureau of Plant 
Industry, U. S. Department of Agriculture. 
8 " Principles of Biology," p. 74. 
• " Principles of Biology," p. 60. 



WHAT IS A LIVING ANIMAL? 295 

With these preliminaries, I submit the following definition of a 
living being. It is this: A living body, whether a simple cell or a 
fully developed mammal, consists of a temporary aggregation of a lim- 
ited number of material particles, call them what we may — molecules, 
atoms, ions, electrons — whose actions and reactions between each other, 
and between themselves and their environing conditions (light, tem- 
perature, air, water, food, terrestrial magnetism, gravitation, etc.) are 
of such a kind as to generate electro-magnetic energy, which energy is 
and necessarily must be secured to the use of the individual producing 
it, by a semi-porous limiting external envelope which provides the 
individual with electric insulation from its surroundings. 

It is upon this external electric insulation that I desire to insist as 
a necessary part of everything that can truly be said to " live, move and 
have its being." Vain and useless indeed would be the energy gene- 
rated in living bodies by the successive compositions and decomposi- 
tions, the integrations and disintegrations, the electrolytic associations 
and disassociations of ions and electrons resulting from animal metab- 
olism, if no arrangement had been provided by which the energy de- 
veloped could be secured to the use of the individual producing it, in- 
stead of instantly flashing back to the earth whence it came, which it 
inevitably would do, in the absence of such insulation. 

That this insulatory covering really exists, in the case of animals, 
eggs, seeds, etc., has been shown by the experiments before mentioned. 

That the individual cells of the body — the histological units — are 
also provided with the same electric insulation, may be more difficult 
to demonstrate. But such demonstration is not altogether wanting. 
The red corpuscles of the blood are, in a measure, insulated from the 
serum in which they float. " The intact red corpuscles," writes Stewart, 
"have an electric conductivity so many times less than that of serum 
that they may, in comparison, be looked upon as non-conductors." 10 
Among other explanations he suggests that this may be because the 
envelope of the corpuscles refuses passage to the electric charge pro- 
duced by the dissociation of ions within them. 

In the developing ovum, according to this view, the ectoderm ought 
to be an insulator. I can give no proof of this, but it is significantly 
suggestive that the cerebro-spinal axis of the embryo (which we should 
think ought to receive a specially good insulation) is clothed on its 
outside by an investment from the ectodermic layer, produced by an 
invagination of that structure to form the medullary groove and canal 
in which the central nervous system pursues its development. 

Finally, is the protoplasm of animal organisms a really living sub- 
stance? The answer will depend upon our definition of the word 

,f " Human Physiology," p. 35, 3d ed., 1899. 



296 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

" living." Properly speaking, protoplasm is neither dead nor alive : it is 
between the two. 

If we could get together an ounce or a ton of it, we should say it 
was a substance or mass exhibiting some of the properties of living 
matter. We could not say it was a living individual. It is simply 
matter occupying a very high plane in those ascending gradational 
transformations between the dead and the living: between the simple 
inorganic constituents of the earth, and those more complex segrega- 
tions of chemical atoms which finally become surrounded by a limiting 
insulatory envelope and thus constitute " physiological units," or living 
beings. But until this formation of units — this individualism — of the 
mass, protoplasm can not be said to live. 

Of course, the direct transformation of inorganic matter into living 
animal matter is impossible. There must always occur the intermedi- 
ate phenomenon of vegetable life. Vegetables can transform the inor- 
ganic chemical materials of the air and earth into their own structure, 
but the animal must either feed upon the products produced by the 
vegetable or upon other animals that have been so fed. No single defi- 
nition of life, therefore, can include both animal and vegetable life, 
since the vegetable is an intermediate product between minerals and 
animals. The evolution of life is a gradational process. Things are 
not " either dead or alive." Some things, like protoplasm, are between 
the two. 



ABANDONED CANALS 297 



ABANDONED CANALS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK 

By ELY VAN DE WARKER 

THOSE who have only a partial knowledge of the subject, regard 
the present time as the age of canals. They overlook the genera- 
tions of time and the vast sums of money expended by other people 
who have held to the idea of the canal with a national fixity of purpose 
that has produced astonishing results. The amount of money ex- 
pended so exceeds the sums spent in the United States, including the 
Isthmian Canal, that they appear like trivial things. 

France has 3,045 miles of artificial waterways and 4,665 miles of 
canalized rivers, aggregating nearly 8,000 miles. These cost in the 
last thirty years five hundred million dollars. Belgium has one mile 
of canal navigation to eight miles of territory. Germany lias spent, 
since 1900, eighty million dollars and has just authorized the expendi- 
ture of eighty-five million dollars more. Austria-Hungary within a 
few years has expended fifty-three million dollars and is yet pushing 
the work. The canals of Holland and some of those of southern 
France were built centuries ago. 



Fish Crekk, Opmnino of Wood Creek, which will be a part of the Barge Canal. 



298 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Wood Creek, tke Old Canal, 1795. 

These countries are achieving commercial supremacy along lines 
that parallel the development of their canal systems. One of the most 
interesting features of international political economy is the great 
value one nation will place upon a thing that another people will 
throw away. What makes the canals of France of such value to the 
people is their contentment in saving money. The Frenchman has a 
keen sense of the value of a dollar saved. So long as he can get the 
product of his acres and the output of his factories at their final 
destination at the lowest freight cost, without time as an important 
factor, he is content with canal transportation. He realized that a 
dollar so saved is to be totaled among his profits and not credited to 
his savings. 

The American, working on the credit system, is obliged to earn 
the quick dollar, and yet feels the attrition of the nether millstone that 
gives to the corporate trusts the money that belongs to the small 
producer. He thus abandons canals that in France would pay the 
individual as well as the state. The American has but one standard, 
Do the canals pay? He demands immediate returns, not prospective. 
Canals have their good and bad years. With such a criticism no canal, 
as a tax earner, is always successful. This, in brief, was the history 
of the abandonment of the central New York canals. It is interesting 
to trace this cause in the profligate dereliction of the lateral canals. 



ABANDONED CANALS 299 

The state engineer's report shows the abandonment of 221 miles 
of canals with their locks and feeders. To this, add a littoral of lakes 
and rivers of 300 miles and we have abandoned waterways of 521 
miles. This covers a region which, in the course of thirty years, has 
increased 1,500,000 in population and its manufactured products have 
more than trebled. 

The American voter is not the wise man that he thinks he is. He 
fails to grasp the primary idea of statecraft. He bends an obedient 
knee to the moloch of the lobby. He obeyed the behest of his party 
and sold his birthright for something as impalpable as moonlight. 
When he sold the right of way of the Chemung Canal for $100, he saw 
neither wrong to himself nor injustice to his posterity. A few dollars 
of annual tax was worth more than millions in prospective. 

For years it was a vexed question in politics, with the democrats on 
one side and the republicans on the other. The fatal blow was given 
in the republican stronghold, central New York, by the people whc 
had the most at stake in preserving the canals. 

The republican legislature of 1873 officially abandoned them. The 
results were quickly shown. The year before the abandonment gave a 
loss in tons of 308,588, while two railways connecting Lake Erie with 
New York showed an excess in tons of freight over that of 1872 of 
1,877,187. This was a direct loss to the farmer and the small producer 
of $96,693 to save the small sum of $34,000 divided among sixteen 
counties. A more complete demonstration of the canals as a freight 
regulator it would be impossible to find. 



Oneida Lakk Canal Locks. 



3 oo THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

The result to the farmers was a harder blow to bear. Real estate 
value shrank to less than was paid for land forty years before. Central 
New York was the great wheat-growing region of the state, but by the 
rapidly moving freight of the railways they were unable to compete 
with the western wheat. This lost crop was so nearly total that they 
ceased to grow enough for their own mills. It appears as though they 
ought to have had business foresight to realize the value of the lateral 
canals as coal carriers. It was for this purpose that these canals were 
built. 

They awoke from their dream of small economy to find themselves 
in the grasp of the great octopus of the coal roads, which for thirty- 
five years has been growing more exacting and oppressive. Through- 
out this region these roads are not only drawing the coal, but by their 
own agents they are delivering it at the door of the consumer. 

We have been laying this upon the farmer and the people directly 
interested in maintaining these canals, and justly. There never was a 
moment when the mass of voters in this republican stronghold could 
not have dominated the situation. It was the old time-worn adage 
of a fool and his folly. He has not the negative merit of holding his 
tongue after he has committed the error. Utica, which could have 
saved the Shenango Canal, petitioned the state engineer's office and the 
canal board for the rebuilding of the canal as a coal carrier only a 
year ago. It was a childish effort and they awoke from the calm 
repose to find that their fair city was simply reduced to a state of mind 
and the real Utica was the Lackawanna road. 

Before the Erie Canal was a practical waterway the people were 
keenly alive to the value of the lakes as commercial waterways. The 
earliest steamboat navigation as a well-developed enterprise upon in- 
land waters was opened in the New York lake region. Upon three 
of the lakes — Cayuga, Seneca and Keuka — steam navigation appeared 
in 1820. The people were roused to enthusiasm. The first boats 
made their landings amid the shouts of the multitude, volleys of 
musketry and salvos of cannon. Gradually the steamboat service was 
extended until in 1827 steamboats were a general thing upon the 
lakes. Many years previous to this sloop navigation was resorted to 
for both freight and passengers. The first began regular trading trips 
in 1795 and gradually this form of navigation was extended over all 
the lakes. 

The Erie Canal found abundant supplies of freight and passengers 
waiting when it passed through this region of the lateral canals. As 
a method of commercial interchange they never paid; whatever we 
may think about the ethics of the state making money off the people's 
enterprise, there was no question about its rights as late as 1873. 
Neither was any money lost until the people followed like a flock 



ABANDONED CANALS 301 

of sheep the bell wether, the political factotum of the countryside, 
and surrendered its rights to the railways. The face of the country 
withered, as though stricken by a famine, under their remorseless 
demands. The fact that makes canal navigation not alone possible 
but profitable is that speed represents cost. 

That which constitutes a profitable canal is not a dividend on the 
investment, but in augmenting the volume of trade. The profit that 
accrues is prospective, not immediate, and belongs to the people; a 
theory of public utilities that the state of New York never adopted. 

Let us see what this meant to the farmer and the manufacturer. [/' 
The manufactured product was of coarsest character, hoops, staves, 
shingles and sawed lumber, material that could not afford to pay a 
higher tariff for transportation. This was practically cut out. Farm 
produce was of a like character; potatoes, cabbage, onions and apples 
demanded a moderate price for carriage if they were to make a living 
return to the grower. These were no longer seen by the boatload 
except within wheeling distance of the Erie; a small supply was re- 
ceived from the Cayuga and Seneca canals. The wheat crop, as 
already noticed, had disappeared. Barley and oats, in the cheap days 
of 1870, represented little money to the grower, and hay at six and 
seven dollars a ton, including the cost of baling, was impossible as 
freight. It was reasonable to expect that the roads would not work 
against these products an impossible tariff. The way station received 
but little notice. It was the fatal long haul, that has caused so many 
crimes against commerce, that was at fault. It cost more to stop and 
side-track than to make the continuous trip. 

In 1872 the amount carried was 156,999 tons. This did not repre- 
sent much in commercial value. But, this was only a minor part of 
its true worth. Imagine the condition had the slight sacrifice been 
made of maintaining the lateral canals for the past thirty-five years, 
with over 1,500,000 population added. These derelict canals would 
have been a treasure-trove to the inhabitants. An English author 
upon the subject expresses the idea perfectly when he states "that 
where canals do not pay, they pay by increasing the volume of trade." 
The coal transported by lateral canals was 411,918 tons, sufficient 
to compel the roads to meet the cheap water rate. An instance on 
the Black River Canal, now used as a feeder to the Erie, illustrates 
what happened to the people of the lake region. The last station on 
the canal paid at retail three dollars a ton for coal; the town above, 
served by the railroad, paid five and a half per ton. The saving on 
freight, in thirty-five years, had the canals been the rate maker, 
would have amounted to more than a million and a half dollars yearly. 

The waterways of the Iroquois were, from the nature of their 
distribution, natural waterways; while the Erie connected two termini. 



3Q2 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

The freightage was the natural product of its own littoral. The 
demand for canals was so urgent that as early as 1768 it was designed 
to connect Oneida Lake and the Mohawk by the improvement of Wood 
Creek. In 1792 the legislature passed the act. To this day old 
wooden locks may be found upon Wood Creek. Central New York 
was the first stimulus to the canal system of the state. It paid even 
at that early date. It reduced the cost of transportation from $32 to 
$16 per ton on the cargo. This great reduction in price "actually 
doubled the intrinsic value of the lands and produce around our 
lakes." 1 If the reader were able to see the insignificance of the little 
ditch of Wood Creek he could not realize the grand total of the result. 



Old One ida Lake, Wooden Locks. 

A few details will prove that the cheapening of carriage and the 
earning capacity of the canal was under- rather than over-estimated. 
The toll on a barrel of flour passing 100 miles was 52 cents and for a 
ton of goods passing the same distance was $5.75. The rapidity with 
which its earning capacity increased is not less remarkable. The 
capital stock of the western company was $232,000, which paid to the 
stockholders a dividend of 3 per cent, in 1798, 3.5 in 1813, 4.5 in 
1815 and 8 per cent, in 1816. 

The rights of this company were acquired by the state in 1820, 
for $151,000. The middle division cost $1,125,983. If we add to 
this double the amount for enlargement, the sum of $2,570,000 was 

1 State Engineer's Report, 1862. 



ABANDONED CANALS 3°3 

abandoned by the state, the result of an ignorant and weak constituency 
and an aggressive lobby who represented the powerful railways behind 
the movement. These canals will be rebuilt on a grander scale com- 
mensurate with the magnitude of the barge canal. Already some of 
the great inland lakes have applied for a renewal of the canals. The 
history of the lateral canals will insure a favorable response. Even 
then they will not be money-makers. They will make money for the 
state only in proportion to the trade developed. 

It is doubtful if the history of the country can parallel such useless 
destruction. From the amount of money squandered and the human 



Oneida Canal. 

interests involved, it stands alone, not as an object of public plunder, 
but, worse than that, a colossal blunder. 

In going over these old canals it appears among the marvels of 
time, how quickly they are disappearing. Stones of monolithic size 
are lying in heaps. Canals, like the Chemung, are simply weed- 
grown ditches, Wooden locks have left scarcely a trace; ruin, meas- 
ured by the hundreds of miles, disfigures and encumbers the earth. 

The Genesee Valley was one of the most important of the sub- 
sidiary canals. During the year previous to its official abandonment 
the total movement of goods amounted to 96,000 tons, in a total of 
nearly a half million. In 1873, 132 tons of wheat and 245 tons of 



3o 4 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Chemung Canal. 



Chemung Canal Extension. 



ABANDONED CANALS 305 

flour moved in the direction of tide water. The total of tolls in the 
last year of its official life was over 20,000 dollars. The story of the 
coal moved is better told in the amount carried by the Cayuga and 
Seneca Lakes Canal, and partly distributed by the Genesee Valley, which 
was 400,000 tons, now reduced to a few boatloads to accommodate the 
railroads and not the public. There could not possibly have been 
serious loss to the state from the Genesee Valley Canal and yet it 
passed the" way of the other waterways. This canal offers the most 
picturesque ruins. A railway runs along the bottom for a part of 
the way. The remains of the works at Dansville have a kind of 
melancholy grandeur; a sad evidence of the greed and folly of man. 

It is only a matter of time when the subsidary canals will be 
rebuilt. With the increased value of material and labor, it will cost 
hundreds of thousands while the original represented thousands. It 
will not be a question of money. It will be an overmastering impulse 
to equal the best in canal structure. France, Germany, Belgium, 
Holland will be the criteria. There appears every prospect that the 
roads will take their normal place as freight carriers. 

It is planned to build a canal from the great lakes to Pittsburg, 
thence to the Gulf. Such a waterway, if constructed with a view of 
paying interest on the investment, will never be built. As a check to 
the greed of the railways, as x a plan to place them in normal accord 
with the transportation interests of the country, it will prove an un- 
alloyed blessing. Of more value than all else will be the vast tide of 
traffic that will seek the cheap route of the canals. Seen from this 
point the canals will always pay. The lateral waterways of New 
York, in their darkest hour, paid the people manyfold. The sin of 
the abandoned canals rests to-day upon this charming region. The 
fleets of steamers, sloops and barges have disappeared and the lakes 
have drifted back to primeval solitude. 



VOL. lxxv. — 20. 



3o6 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



TENNYSON AND THE SCIENCE OF 
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 
The hundred years which began with 
the births of Darwin, Tennyson and 
Gladstone, and closes with the deaths 
of Meredith and Swinburne, has been 
a notable period in English history. 
Its two chief movements — the growth 
of science and the growth of democracy 
— are adequately represented by Dar- 
win and Gladstone. Tennyson was the 
most widely read and perhaps the 
greatest poet of the period. The scien- 
tific man may be permitted to moralize 
over the world-wide extension and per- 
manence of Darwin's contribution as 
compared with Tennyson's. Fifty 
years ago Darwin's name was almost 
unknown, whereas Tennyson's was a 
household word in England. A little 
later a man was not thought to have 
made himself ridiculous by saying that 
he sided with God against Darwin and 
the devil. Now Tennyson's reputation 
is being defended; no one would think 
of defending Darwin. The University 
of Cambridge lavishes its academic 
ceremonial on the man of science rather 
than on the poet. Tennyson wrote: 

The man of science himself is fonder of 

glory, and vain, 
An eye well practised In nature, a spirit 

bounded and poor. 

But Darwin's personality and charac- 
ter are comparable with his services 
to science. 

We may place the science of the 
nineteenth century before its poetry 
and Darwin before Tennyson; but to 
do so it is not needful to depreciate 
the poetry or the poet laureate. In- 
deed a scientific journal may well call 
attention to the fact that Tennyson 
was largely influenced by the science 
of his period and permitted it to be- 
come part of his poetry. Poetry based 



on the classical tradition can not make 
a wide or deep appeal to a world in 
I which it is no longer living; the future 
of poetry depends on the possibility of 
its adjusting itself to science and mod- 
ern life, and Tennyson should receive 
honor for his efforts to this end. 

The well-known verses of " In Me- 
moriam " were printed nine years be- 
fore the " Origin of Species." The 
geology may have have come from 
Lyell, but it was twenty years before 
Lyell would have been willing to accept 
the last verse of the stanza: 

The solid earth whereon we tread 

In tracts of fluent heat began. 

And grew to seeming random forms, 
The seeming prey of cyclic storms, 

Till at the last arose the man. 

The doctrine of evolution is frequently 
used, as in " Maud," where the first 
verse is scarcely less significant than 
the second in the couplet: 

As nine months go to the shaping an 
infant ripe for his birth, 

So many a million of ages have gone to 
the making of man. 

There will also be found in Tennyson 
an adequate conception of physical sci- 
ence and an attempt to put even its 
practical achievements into poetical 
form. Thus the age is told to 

Rift the hills, and roll the waters, flash 
the lightnings, weigh the sun. 

and we even hear of 

The nations' airy navies grappling in the 
central blue. 

Scientific knowledge is assumed or 
taught continually in the pages of 
Tennyson from the first lines of the 
" Lady of Shalott," which reawakened 
the spirit of English poetry — 

On either side the river He 
Long fields of barley and of rye . . . 
Willows whiten, aspens quiver 
Little breezes dusk and shiver. 

to his last poem with 






A. 



3o8 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



the kindly sphere 
That once had rolled you round and round 
the sun. 

Medievalism and modern life, classical 
reference and scientific simile are curi- 
ously commingled in Tennyson's poems. 
As one turns back to them " the tender 
grace of a day that is dead " does not 
fully return. They are not like science 
universal; but for their own epoch 
they were not only great poems, but 
also rendered a not insignificant serv- 
ice in the diffusion of the scientific 
spirit. 

THE REMINISCENCES OF SIR 
FRANCIS QALTON 

The greatness of the Victorian era 
is now represented among the living by 
men of science — Hooker, Wallace, Ave- 
bury, Lister, Huggins, Galton — all past 
eighty years of age. Sir Francis Gal- 
ton — the *' sir " is a tardy recognition 
on the king's recent birthday — now in 
his eighty-eighth year has done well to 
prepare the reminiscences which have 
been published under the title " Mem- 
ories of my Life." He is typical of the 
great period in which he has lived and 
to the preeminence of which he has 
contributed his share. Like his cousin, 
Charles Darwin, he has had no profes- 
sion, but with sufficient private means 
he has devoted his life to the advance- 
ment of science. There are certain 
marked resemblances in intellect and 
character between the two kinsmen — 
scientific curiosity reaching from ob- 
scure details to broad theories, pa- 
tience combined with daring, royal 
simplicity and directness — which might 
be used to illustrate the theories of 
heredity in which both have been inter- 
ested. Galton, like Darwin, studied 
medicine and like him was a student 
at Cambridge; but, unlike Darwin, he 
has lived in London and has taken an 
active part in the social and scientific 
activities of the time. He has been in 
intimate personal relations with the 
scientific and other leaders and a help- 
ful friend to many at the beginning of 
their scientific work. The writer of 



the present note is one of a large com- 
pany that owes him an unpayable debt 
for personal kindness and intellectual 
stimulation. 

Galton — the Sir Francis does not 
come naturally — gives rather full de- 
tails, as is becoming, of his parentage 
and early life. On both sides he was 
of quaker stock. He traces to inherit- 
ance his taste for science, for poetry 
and for statistics, and his endurance of 
physical fatigue. His formal schooling 
was not profitable. He says (it was 
before going to Cambridge): "In the 
spring of 1840 a passion for travel 
seized me as if I had been a migratory 
bird." He made a somewhat adventu- 
rous trip to the near east, and his 
travels were continued more seriously 
on completing his studies. He made 
two trips of exploration in Africa, in 
the second conducting an expedition of 
some 1,700 miles through unknown re- 
gions in the southwest. For this he 
was awarded one of the gold medals 
of the Royal Geographical Society in 
1854, and was elected a fellow of the 
Royal Society two years later. 

In 1853 Galton married a daughter 
of the dean of Peterborough, the father 
of a gifted family, and thenceforth 
residing in London carried out the in- 
vestigations and published the long 
series of important memoirs and vol- 
umes, the contents of which are all too 
briefly reviewed in the reminiscences. 
First appeared works on travel, then 
serious attention was given to meteor- 
ology and the Kew Observatory. In 
1865 were published two papers on 
" Heredity Talent and Character " ; 
and these were followed by the studies 
on variation and individual differences 
which are largely summarized in 
" Human Faculty." The work on 
anthropometry, on association and on 
imagery opened up new fields for psy- 
chology; the composite portraits and 
the study of finger prints are known 
to all. Nearly every one of the 183 
publications contains a new idea or an 
ingenious application. The work on 



THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE 



309 



heredity and its application to eugen- 
ics, beginning before the publication of 
the volume on " Hereditary Genius " 
in 1869 and continuing to the present 
time, is of vast importance. Numerous 
articles on these subjects by Galton 
himself and by others who have re- 
ceived their inspiration from him have 
been published in this journal, and it 
is of course out of the question to give 
a summary in a brief note. There are 
no other problems so important as 
those to which Galton has given the 
name eugenics, and there is no one else 
who has done so much toward making 
straight the way for their solution. 

THE EUGENICS LABORATORY OF 
THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON 
Among Sir Francis Galton's unnum- 
bered services to science has been the 
establishment of a laboratory for the 
study of national eugenics at the Uni- 
versity of London. In cooperation 
with the biometric laboratory and the 
department of applied mathematics, 
also under the direction of Professor 
Karl Pearson, it is leading the way in 
a movement likely to become dominant 
in the course of the present century. 
National eugenics is officially described 
as " the study of agencies under social 
control that may improve or impair 
the racial qualities of future genera- 
tions, either physically or mentally." 
It is further stated that it is intended 
that the laboratory shall serve as a 
storehouse of statistical material bear- 
ing on the mental and physical condi- 
tions in man, and the relation of these 
conditions to inheritance and environ- 
ment, as a center for* the publication 
or other lorm of distribution of infor- 
mation concerning national eugenics, 
and as a school for training and assist- 
ing students in special problems in 
eugenics. 

The general scope of the work which 
has been undertaken may be gathered 
from an enumeration of the publica- 
tions for which the- laboratories of the 
University of London are responsible. 



Biometrika is a journal for the statis- 
tical study of the biological sciences 
published about four times a year .and 
now in the seventh volume. It is a 
storehouse of materials and methods, 
dominated naturally by the interests 
of the editor. In some ways it is an 
advantage and in some ways a draw- 
back that Professor Pearson is a 
mathematician. The need of applying 
mathematical methods to variation 
and heredity should be emphasized and 
stress on the method has permitted the 
treatment and unification of varied 
material. But it is also true that so 
long as there are but few biologists 
who are mathematicians, there is dan- 
ger that certain methods may become 
prematurely crystallized and these spe- 
cial methods may be regarded as an 
end rather than as a tool. In addition 
to Biometrica there has been estab- 
lished this year a Treasury of Human 
Inheritance, devoted to family his- 
tories, including diseases, physical 
traits and mental qualities. Then 
there are two series of memoirs, one 
entitled Biometric Series, the other 
Studies in National Deterioration, 
published at the expense of the Dra- 
pers* Company. The first of these con- 
tains chiefly Professor Pearson's more 
recent mathematical contributions to 
the theory of evolution, while the 
second includes so far three studies, 
one on the relation of fertility in men 
to social status and two on inheritance 
and infection in tuberculosis. Lastly, 
there is a lecture series, of which but 
one has been issued, and a memoir 
series from the eugenics laboratory. 
The memoirs include a study of the 
inheritance of ability from the Oxford 
class lists and of the relation between 
success in examinations and in after 
life; inheritance of insanity, the re- 
semblance of first cousins and the 
inheritance of vision. 

THE INHERITANCE OF VISION 
The recently issued monograph from 
the Eugenics Laboratory on the in- 



3io 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



heritanoe of vision, which is by Miss 
Amy Barrington and Professor Karl 
Pearson, is of special interest, as it is 
one of the first attempts to determine 
the relative influence of heredity and 
environment, and announces the unex- 
pected conclusion that there is no defi- 
nite evidence that schools have a dele- 
terious effect on the eyesight of chil- 
dren. Other results are that keenness 
of vision is an inherited character, 
that there is some relation between 
intelligence and good eyesight, but 
none between this 7 and poverty or 
shiftless parentage. 

The authors have not obtained data 
of their own, but work over results 
that have already been published. For 
heredity they discuss the work of 
Steiger, which has the drawback that 
the material is not a random selection 
from the population, but starts with 
abnormal cases. Allowing for this, 
they conclude that heredity is as 
strong in the case of astigmatism as 
for other physical traits, such as 
height or eye color. 

For environment the authors depend 
largely on a study of 1,400 school chil- 
dren made by the Edinburgh Charity 



Organization Society. These children 
show a high degree of fraternal re- 
semblance. The conditions of eyesight 
are reproduced in the accompanying 
diagram. It appears that emmet ropia 
— which the authors regard as syn- 
onymous with normal vision, though 
there are good grounds for regarding 
the hypermetropic eye as normal — 
actually increases, from the age of six 
to ten, while astigmatism decreases. 
There is no appreciable change in 
myopia. Myopia, or near-sightedness, 
does increase from the age of ten to 
fourteen, though only to 6.5 per cent, 
of the children. 

These figures do not agree with those 
of Cohen, Erismann, Risley and other 
investigators. Cohen, for example, 
found the percentage of myopics to be: 
in village schools 1.4 per cent., in ele- 
mentary schools 6.7 per cent, in inter- 
mediate schools 10.3 per cent., in the 
gymnasium 26.2 per cent, and in the 
university 59.5 per cent. The fact is 
that the Edinburgh children, being 
from the poorest classes, probably did 
not greatly strain their eyes with read- 
ing and school work. The authors 
say : " The persistent use by the Ger- 




S to 

Ages. 
The Distribution of Eyesight among Edinburgh Children. 



Dr. Ernest Fox Nichols 

President of Dartmouth College, lately Professor of Physics 
in Columbia University. 



312 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



mans of non-hygienic characters for 
their type . . . renders all comparisons 
of English and German conditions un- 
profitable/' One might suppose, on the 
contrary, that this comparison would 
indicate that progressive myopia is due 
to environment rather than to heredity. 
Cohen indeed found that of 1,000 near- 
sighted children only 2.7 per cent, had 
a near-sighted father or mother. 

Professor Pearson may be correct in 
urging that "the first thing is good 
stock, and the second thing is good 
stock, and the third thing is good 
stock," but it does not appear that 
this conclusion can be deduced from 
what is known in regard to defective 
eyesight. There is danger that an atti- 
tude such as Professor Pearson's may 
lead to neglect of those factors of the 
environment which we can improve. 
When he says : " Pay attention to 
breeding, and the environmental ele- 
ment will not upset your projects," he 
rather neglects to emphasize the fact 
that paying attention to breeding does 
not under what Galton calls " the 
existing conditions of law and senti- 
ment " give us much chance to improve 
the racial stock in man. We can not 
breed a race immune to myopia, but 
we can refrain from producing a gen- 
eration of myopic school children. 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS 
We regret to record the death of 
Dr. R. E. C. Stearns, of Los Angeles, 
known for his work on the Mollusca; 
of John Morse Ordway, until recently 
professor of metallurgy at Tulane Uni- 
versity; of Mr. Lefferts Buck, a lead- 
ing New York engineer; of Dr. T. W. 
Bridge, professor of zoology at Birm- 
ingham, and of Dr. V. R. Matteucci, 
director of the Observatory on Mt. 
Vesuvius. 



I Professor R. C. Allen, of the Uni- 
; versity of Michigan, has been ap- 
' pointed state geologist of Michigan, to 
j succeed Dr. A. C. Lane, who has be- 
j come professor of geology in Tufts 
College. — Dr. C. Gordon Hewitt, lec- 
! turer in economic zoology in the Uni- 
versity of Manchester, has been ap- 
pointed entomologist to the Dominion 
of Canada in succession to the late 
Dr. James Fletcher. 

, Sib Joseph Dalton Hooker cele- 

, b rated his ninety-second birthday on 

June 30. His scientific career began 

j seventy years ago, when he went out 

as surgeon and naturalist with Sir 

i James Ross's Antarctic expedition. — 

I Dr. C. Lloyd Morgan, Fit.S., known 

for his contributions to comparative 

psychology, has resigned the office of 

vice-chancellor of the University of 

Bristol. 

The French Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science will meet this 
year at Lille on August 2-7, under the 
presidency of Professor Landouzy, dean 
I of the faculty of medicine in the Uni- 
i versity of Paris. The gold medal of 
the association, which was instituted 
last year, is to be awarded to Professor 
H. Poincare\ who will deliver a lecture 
i during the course oi the meeting. 

! The heirs of the late Herr Heinrich 
I Lanz, head of the Mannheim engineer- 
ing firm, have given a million Marks 
for the establishment of an academy 
of science at Heidelberg. — M. Henry 
Deutsch has given 500,000 francs, and 
promises in addition an annual grant 
of 15,000 francs, towards the creation 
of an aerotechnical institute in the 
University of Paris. M. Basil Zakaroff 
has given 700,000 francs for the foun- 
dation of a chair of aviation in the 
faculty of sciences of the university. 



THE 

POPULAR SCIENCE 

MONTHLY. 



OCTOBER, 1909 



THE HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OP 1909 

By Dr. GEORGE FREDERICK KUNZ 

NEW YORK CITY 

SINCE the London Exhibition of 1851, and the first Paris Exposi- 
tion of 1855, there have been probably one hundred expositions 
in various parts of the world. Generally they have been held in com- 
memoration of some historic event or anniversary, and each one, large 
or small, has usually had some special distinctive feature. The great 
exposition at Chicago had its White City and its illuminations; the 
Buffalo Exposition had its architecture, its illuminations and the added 
advantage of its striking environment, and the various French exposi- 
tions have each possessed peculiar points to mark their individuality. 
All of them have been held for six months or more, but in a great many 
cases from one third to one half of that time elapsed before all the 
departments were completed and opened to the public. In this way 
public interest was checked at the beginning, and when the exposition 
was finally completed, a good part of the allotted time had passed, and 
the enthusiasm always excited by these affairs had begun to flag. 

New York in itself is not only the greatest exposition, perhaps, in 
the world, because of its geographic features and its wonderful resources, 
but its various lines of transit — surface cars, elevated railways and sub- 
ways — facilitate the handling of great crowds. In addition to this 
New York lies between two rivers, and is as easily reached by boat as 
by rail, to say nothing of the attractive physical advantages this location 
gives it. 

The writer, in an article published in the North American Revieiv 
for September, 1902, and entitled "The Management and Uses of 
Expositions," strongly urged the holding of an exposition to mark the 
tercentenary of Henry Hudson's arrival at the mouth of the river which 
bears his name. The forecast of the present advantages of our city 

VOL. LXXV. —21. 



3i4 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Henry Hudson (ideal). No artist's name attached. 

given in this article has been almost literally fulfilled, and the writer 
realizes more than ever that he was correct in saying that the museums 
and institutions of our city would " furnish a greater display to the 
visitor than any exposition yet held on the continent." 

New York, with its great variety of public buildings, its miles of 
waterways, its dozens of museums, its many civic buildings, its great 
system of parks, stands alone as a prominent and fitting exposition 
ground. Why erect a city of staff, wood and other inflammable material 
to hold costly objects ? Whoever contributed his much-prized works of 
art to such shelter, awaited, with fear and trembling, their safe return, 
and few of the finest things were ever loaned except in Paris, where 
they were shown in permanent structures such as the artistic Nouveau 
Salon, and its dainty neighbor, the Petit Salon, to the right of which 
is the magnificent Pont Alexandre II. 

Although not so named, this Hudson-Fulton Celebration really 
presents the features of a great exposition, for when all the resources 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 3*5 



Robert Fulton, by Benjamin West. Fulton us u youth went to Europe to study art. 

West was his teacher. This portrait of Fulton is said to represent West's best style. 

Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission. 

of New York are presented as they will be on this occasion, and given 
a brilliant and attractive setting, it will be found, that no exposition 
ever organized on this continent has offered a greater variety of interest. 
To apply the standard of monetary value may seem a trifle vulgar when 
we are treating of the triumphs of art in all its forms, and vet this 
standard merely expresses the worth of antiquities and artistic creations 
in a more exact way than by using superlatives of speech. A reasonable 
estimate of the value of the attractions that our city offers to its visitors 
would be rather in excess of $2,000,000,000 than below that figure, and 



3 i6 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



Last Days of Henry Hudson, by Sir John Collier. Original in Tate Gallery. London. 

On his last voyage (in the Adriatic) Hudson was set adrift in a small boat 

by his mutinous crew and nothing was later heard of him. 

Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission. 

yet, whore the great expositions of the past have cost from $10,000,000 
to $20,000,000 or more for their organization, all the treasures and 
beauties of New York can he displayed at an expense of only $1,000,000. 
A single building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with the objects it 
will hold, would not he over-valued at from $30,000,000 to $4-0,000,000. 
At an exposition the public is called upon to pay fifty cents admis- 
sion each time to enter the gates and an additional fee for each special 
exhibition. The great New York celebration will be free for all, even 
for those who have no car fare to enable them to ride. The demon- 
strations are in the heart of the city itself. They do not take place in 
some suburb, or barren, out-of-the-way spot. They are not encompassed 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 3*7 

within a temporary city built like that at Coney Island, or held 
away out in the Bronx, on the Palisades or at Staten Island; neither 
is the celebration instituted or furthered to boom any special piece of 
real estate, or to sustain the selling of a quantity of traction stock or 
railroad stock that might be affected by an unusual traffic for the 
time being. 

The celebration is designed to cover a very wide field, and the aim 
of the commission has not been confined to honoring the explorer of 
the Hudson River and the man who made steam navigation a perma- 
nent success; in addition to this the occasion has been utilized to illus- 
trate and emphasize the development and greatness of New York City, 
the metropolis of the western hemisphere. Those who can understand 
the true significance of this celebration, and who are able to forecast 
the future, will see the vision of a still greater and more magnificent 
city, worthy of being called a world metropolis. 

Although the naval parade owes its greatness to the presence of the 
American and international war fleet, and to the immense aggregation 
of vessels of all kinds and denominations assembled for the occasion, 
the place of honor is fittingly assigned to the replicas of the two small 
vessels which helped to make the names of Hudson and Fulton famous. 
The reproduction of the Half Moon, generously offered by the govern- 
ment of the Netherlands, is a craft of but 80 tons burden and is only 
74£ feet long and 17 feet wide. The Half Moon will be under the 
command of Commander Lam, who will be costumed to impersonate 
Henry Hudson ; the crew will also wear the dress of sailors of Hudson's 
time. A comparison with the Celtic shows in a striking manner the 
wonderful progress in naval construction, the giant liner being 700 
feet long and 75 feet wide, while its tonnage is 20,904. The historic 
Clermont, which, in 1807, made its memorable trip up the Hudson, 
thus inaugurating steam navigation on the river, has been carefully 
reproduced. This craft, while larger than the Half Moon, is still small 
and insignificant in comparison with the magnificent steamers of to-day. 
It is only 150 feet long and 18 feet wide. 

The reproductions of the Half Moon and the Clermont constitute 
the central point, the very focus, of the celebration, and this has been 
fully recognized by the commission. Hence the opening day, Saturday, 
September 25, will be devoted to a grand naval parade, perhaps the 
greatest naval pageant ever seen. The eighty warships, American and 
foreign, form the most imposing array of naval forces assembled at any 
time in the new world, and we may safely say that, with one or two 
possible exceptions, no fleet of equal might and numbers was ever 
brought together. 

The United States will be represented by 16 battleships, 12 torpedo- 
boats, 4 submarines, 2 supply ships, 1 repair ship, 1 torpedo vessel, 
1 tug and 7 colliers: 53 vessels in all, the battleships constituting the 



3 i8 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

most powerful fleet ever assembled except on a few occasions in the 
English Channel. Bear- Admiral Sea ton Schroeder, U.S.N., is in 
command. 

From the Netherlands comes the cruiser Utrecht, commanded by 
Captain G. P. van Hecking Colenbrander, R.N.N., and the replica of 
the Half Moon. Germany sends the cruisers Dresden, Hertha, Viktoria 
Luisa and Bremen, under the command of Grand Admiral H. L. R. von 
Roster, retired, of the Imperial Navy. The English squadron will con- 



Tue Purchase of Manhattan Island. 

sist of the cruisers Inflexible, Drake, Argyll and Duke of Edinburgh, 
commanded by Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, of the Royal Navy. 
France will be represented by two battleships, the Liberie and the 
Justice, under the command of Vice Admiral Le Pord. From Italy 
come the cruiser Etruria and the schoolship Etna, on board of which 
will be the cadets of the Royal Naval Academy — the future officers of 
the Italian navy. 

Latin America will also participate in the parade, Mexico being 
represented by the gun-boat Bravo, commanded by Captain Manuel E. 
Izaguirre; Cuba, by the revenue-cutter Hatuey; the Argentine Republic, 
by the warship President e Sarmiento, and Guatemala, by a coast- 
patrol boat. 

An immense fleet of seagoing and coastwise merchant vessels, steam- 
boats, ferryboats, steam yachts, motor boats, tugs and steam lighters, 
sailing crafts, police boats, wrecking boats, fire boats, hospital boats, 
naval-militia vessels, steam cutters and launches, United States revenue- 
cutters and other craft, including the Clermont and Half Moon, will 
assemble in ten squadrons in the Harbor, in the vicinity of the Brooklyn, 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 3*9 



A GENERAL PEACE. 

NE FT- TO R AT, March 15, 1783. 

LsfTE loft Night, an EXPRESS from New-Jerfey, 
brought the following Account. 

•J 1 H A T on Sunday laft, the Twenty-Third Inftant, a Veflel arrived at 
Philadelphia, in Thirty-five Day* from Cadiz, with Difpattbtt to 
the C$mmt*Mts/ CoMgrefs, informing them, that oo Mooday the Twentieth 
Dayof January, the PRBLiMiN4Rias to 

A GENERAL PEACE 

Between Great-Britain, France, Spain , Holland, and the United States of 

America, were signed at Parts, by all the CommuTioners from thole Powers ; 

in conlequence of which, Hoftilitics, by Sea and Land, were to ceafe in 
J Europe, on Wednefday the Twentieth Day of February j and in America, oo 

Tburlaay the Twentieth Day of March, in the prefent Year One Thou&rjd 

Seven Hundred and Eighty-Three. 

THIS very important Intelligence was lad Night announced by the 
; Firing of Cannon, and great Rejoicings at Elizabeth-Town. — Respecting 
! the Particulars of this truly interefting Event no more are yet received, but 
J they^are hourly expected. 



PniUJbedfy James Rivington, Printer (o the Kinfs Moft Excellent Majeftf. 



JChgtm. N. r, md/mmdmmu. 

JUUUS SCHOONMAKKK, 
I SktmrtM mi mmn, * <<*>» m*. tkii tjA 4*y tfOtk**. it*. 

I C. HUM*. NHny^Nit. 

L I 

Staten Island and New Jersey shores. An object of interest for all will 
be the historic Roosevelt, used by C'ommander Peary in his successful 
trip to the North Pole. Staten Island has contributed a reproduction 
of Commodore Vanderbilt's periagua, the forerunner of the Vander- 
bilt ferryboats between Staten Island and Manhattan. The warships 
will also rendezvous in the harbor, and at 1 :30 p.m. the parade 
will begin, the warships in the lead. The whole array of vessels, at 
least seven miles in length, will advance, slowly and majestically, up 



32o THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



The Half Moon. An exact photograph of the replica of the Half Moon, In which 

Hudson sailed under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company, built by 

patriotic citizens of Holland and to be presented to the Commission. 

Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission. 

the Hudson River. When the head of the column reaches Forty-second 
Street, the two leading warships will swing out of line and cast anchor 
opposite eacli other; a little further on the second pair will then per- 
form the same evolutions, to be succeeded in turn by all the other 
warships, the line finally extending from Forty-second Street to 175th 
Street. The civic fleet will continue on its way, passing to the left of 
the warships until the head of the line is reached, when the vessels will 
cross over and move down the river between the warships and the 
Manhattan shore, to 110th Street. 

In the meanwhile the replicas of the Half Moon and the Clermont, 
accompanied by their more immediate escort, will pass up between the 
lines of warships to 110th Street and will be greeted by a salute in 
passing. Arriving at 110th Street, the formal presentation of the two 
vessels will be made, the exercises taking place on a landing stage con- 
structed at that point. 

The parade of the civic fleet will be repeated in the evening, start- 
ing at 7:30 p.m., and will make a very brilliant spectacle, for the 
moving vessels as well as the warships will be illuminated with electric 
lamps, which will outline their form with a tracery of fire. 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909. 3 21 

On Wednesday, September 29, about 9 :30 a.m., the Half Moon and 
the Clermont will leave their anchorages at 110th Street and will pro- 
ceed up the river, stopping for a time at Yonkers, Tarrytown, Ossining, 
Peekskill and Cornwall. On Friday, October 1, these vessels will arrive 
at Newburgh, where they will meet the Upper and Lower Hudson fleets. 
The latter fleet will leave New York on the morning of October 1, and 
will consist of the submarine Costine (the first submarine), twelve 
torpedo boats and a large number of other ships, divided into six 
squadrons. 

There can be no question that the naval parade with which the 
Hudson-Fulton Celebration begins, represents the central idea of the 
whole festival. The spectators, in gazing upon the immense fleet of 
modern vessels, may find it difficult to realize that the tiny ships, the 
Half Moon and the Clermont, so faithfully reproduced for this occa- 
sion, occupy a more important place in the world's history than will 
all the gigantic vessels that are assembled to honor the two remarkable 
men who accomplished so much with such scant resources. 

This lesson is especially important in our time, for the tendency of 
our day is to lay undue stress upon mere magnitude, and to believe that 
larger ships, larger buildings and larger cities necessarily mark a real 
progress in civilization. No sane person will deny the fact that the 
conditions of life have changed and are changing for the better — 
slowly, it is true — but there can be as little question that the rate of 
progress would be greatly accelerated if the essentials of civilization 



Thr Half Moon. 



322 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

were more regarded than the development of mere material greatness. 
The first of the land parades, the great historical pageant, will take 
place on Tuesday, September 28, and will consist of 54 cars, or " floats," 
bearing groups of figures and accessories illustrating scenes from the 
history of the city or state of New York. These floats will be accom- 
panied by marching bodies from various civic societies, American and 
foreign. The one which will head the procession has been named 
" The Xew York Title Car " and will bear a seated figure of the God- 



The Half Moon. 

dess of Liberty; two owls, the birds of Minerva, are perched upon the 
high back of the chair on which the goddess sits, signifying that wisdom 
has guided her in her progress. The contrast between the primitive 
conditions of Henry Hudson's time and those of the present day is 
strikingly presented by the model of an Indian canoe alongside of that 
of an ocean liner, and by representations, in due proportions, of a 
" skyscraper " and of an Indian wigwam. 

The parade will be divided into four divisions, devoted, respectively, 
to the Indian, the Dutch, the Colonial and the Revolutionary periods, 
each division being preceded by a car bearing a group which epitomizes 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 32$ 



Launching of the Half Moon at Amsterdam. 

the leading characteristics of the period. The last car typifies the hos- 
pitality of our city, a gigantic figure of Old Father Knickerbocker 
standing upon it with hands outstretched and extending a hearty wel- 
come to all the nations of the earth. In order to add to the verisimili- 
tude of the different groups, Iroquois Indians have been secured to man 
the Indian floats; members of the various Holland societies to represent 



Comparative Picture, "Celtic" and "Half Moon." Celtic (19«i9) — length 700 
feet, beam 75 feet, depth 49 feet, displacement 37,870 tons, tonnage 20,904 tons, horse- 
power 13,000. Half Moon (1609)— length 74.54 feet, beam 16.94 feet, depth 10.08 
feet, tonnage 80 tons. The Celtic crosses the Atlantic in a little less than eight days. 
The Half Moon crossed the Atlantic in fifty-nine days. 



324 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



y. e 

° 2 



S 3 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1900 3*5 

the characters on the Dutch floats, and descendants of the old Colonial 
families, members of the Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the Revolu- 
tion, etc., to perform the same service on the Colonial floats. The float 
showing the capture of Major Andre will be manned by descendants of 
John Paulding, one of Andre's captors. 

The parade will begin at 110th Street and Central Park West and 
will proceed down Central Park West to 59th Street, through that 
street to Fifth Avenue, and down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square. 

This parade will be repeated in Brooklyn on Friday, October 1, 
proceeding from the Memorial Arch at the entrance to Prospect Park 
by way of the Eastern Parkway to Buffalo Avenue. Richmond Borough 
will also have its historical parade, on a smaller scale, it is true. This 
will take place on Monday, September 27, and will traverse the Amboy 
Road, between New Dorp and Oakwood. The ceremonies on the site 
of the first church on Staten Island, founded by the Waldensians, will 
commemorate the first permanent settlement on the island. 

The military parade will take place on Thursday, passing over the 
route followed by the historical pageant. It will be composed of the 
Federal Troops of the Department of the East, the National Guard of 
the State of New York within the limits of New York city, the United 
States Navy and Marine Corps, the Naval Reserve, the veteran organ- 
izations, and marines and sailors from foreign warships. It is esti- 
mated that 25,000 men will be in line. 

The carnival parade on Saturday evening, October 2, will traverse 
the route followed by the historical parade and the military parade. 
This will unquestionably be one of the most interesting and probably 
the most brilliant feature of the celebration. It will be under the care 
of the German societies of New York, and the Germans have always 
displayed a remarkable aptitude for organizing and designing pageants 
of this kind. The fifty cars composing the parade will be artistically 
illuminated, and many thousands of torch-bearers will precede and 
follow the emblematic groups. These will represent music, art and 
literature, and the wide field of German legend, song and history will 
furnish most of the themes. The streets along the route of the parade 
will be made as light as day by festoons of electric lamps. This pageant 
will be repeated in Brooklyn on the evening of Saturday, October 9, 
and will pass along the Eastern Parkway. 

The general illumination of the city every night during the festival 
period will offer the most brilliant spectacle ever seen in this country. 
All the municipal buildings, as well as thousands of private buildings, 
will be lighted up by tens of thousands of electric lights. The four 
bridges spanning the East River will be radiant with rows of lights, 
14,000 being placed on the Queensboro Bridge, 13,000 on the Brooklyn 
Bridge, 11,000 on the Williamsburg Bridge and the same number on 



326 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



the Manhattan Bridge. As seen from any point on the East River, 
these hridges will be outlined against the dark background of the night, 
so as as to appear like structures of flame, evoked by a magician's hand. 
On the other side of the island, both shores of the Hudson Eiver from 
Forty-second Street to Spuyten Puyvil will be ablaze with light. At 
110th Street there will be a battery of twelve searchlights, aggregating 
1,700,000 candle power ; these lights will be directed up, down and 
across the river, illuminating an immense radius. Another battery of 
searchlights, four in number and aggregating 400,000 candle power, 
will cast its rays upon Grant's Tomb, which will be thrown into striking 
relief by the dazzling light. 

The historical parade and all the other pageants of the w r eek will 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 327 

arouse in the minds of the beholders a more lively understanding of 
the history and development of our city, and, while delighting the eye, 
will convey an important lesson in the very best and most effective way 
— that is, unconsciously. A population like ours is greatly in need of 
some powerful stimulation of this kind to weld together all its heter- 
ogeneous elements. But let it not be supposed that this is the only end 
to be attained; such brilliant spectacles are a good in themselves and 
none will appreciate this more thoroughly than those whose life is 
merely a sad and monotonous struggle for their daily bread. On this 
occasion the poorest and the richest will share equally in the enjoyment 
of the various splendid and artistic spectacles. 

Of the special exhibitions which have been organized by the Art and 
Historical Exhibits Committee, the most important is the magnificent 
collection of masterpieces by Dutch painters which will be seen in the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, at Fifth Avenue and Eighty-second 
Street. Never before have so many splendid examples of Dutch art 
been gathered together in the United States; indeed, the exhibition as 
a whole has never been rivaled even in Europe. Here may be seen no 
less than thirty-five Bembrandts, a larger number than exist in any 
permanent collection, except that of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. 
Then there are nineteen portraits by Franz Hals, who is only inferior 
to Rembrandt among the Dutch portraitists, and five specimens of the 
work of Vermeer van Delft, whose pictures are extremely rare, there 
being only thirty authentic examples extant. Besides the works of 
these artists there are fine and characteristic pictures by Jacob and 
Salomon Ruysdael, Cuyp, Hobbema, Metsu, Van Ostade and many 
others who were contemporaries of Henry Hudson. These works come 
from the finest private collections in the United States and many years 
will pass before an equally favorable opportunity will be afforded for 
the study of Dutch pictorial art. 

The special exhibition also embraces a large and valuable collection 
of furniture, silver, pewter, porcelain and glass, produced in this 
country between 1625 and 1815, the year of Fulton's death; and there 
is also a fine collection of paintings by American artists born before 
1800, including pictures by Woolaston, Copley, West, Allston, Peale, 
Stuart, Trumbull, Fulton, Doughty, etc. 

We have all read of the Indians who were settled on Manhattan 
Island before the arrival of Henry Hudson, but few realize how many 
relics of these aborigines have been found here, especially at the upper 
end of the island. A large and valuable collection of these relics may 
be seen in the American Museum of Natural History, at Central Park 
West and Seventy-seventh Street, and a classic monograph, written by 
Dr. Clark Wissler, can be obtained at the same place, and will enable 
the visitor to understand the significance of the various relics. The 



328 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



manners and customs of the Indians of Long Island are represented by 
an important exhibit in the Brooklyn Institute. Independent of any 
museum, and of ethnological interest, will be the 125 Indians, men, 
women and children, from New York reservations, who will participate 
in the landing of the Half Moon, and in several of the parades. 

The early history of New York and the beginnings of steam navi- 
gation will be illustrated by an exhibition of views, paintings, manu- 
scripts, books, etc., shown in the Lenox branch of the New York Public 
Library, detailed information in regard to the exhibits being offered in 
a special catalogue. The New York Historical Society, in its new 
building, on Central Park West, corner of Seventy-seventh Street, 
just below the American Museum of Natural History, exhibits many 
interesting pictures and relics relating to Robert Fulton. At the 
National Arts Club, No. 15 Gramercy Park, the special collection is 
entitled " Three Hundred Years of New York," and the visitor will 
see a large number of pictures and other objects illustrating the 
development of the city and its rapid and marvelous growth. A col- 
lection of oil paintings and old manuscripts concerning the early his- 
tory of New York is exhibited by the Genealogical and Biographical 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 3*9 



Society, No. 226 West Fifty-seventh Street, and rare manuscripts and 
books on the same subject may be seen at the College of the City of 
New York, St. Nicholas Avenue and 138th Street. 

As is the case with all great inventions, steam navigation was not 
the work of one man alone, although Robert Fulton was the first to 
apply it consequently and permanently. Epoch-making inventions 
have usually been the work of a group of men pursuing the same end, 
often independently of each other, but the credit and glory of success 
is reserved for that one of them who possesses the energy and persist- 
ence requisite for ultimate triumph. Before Fulton built the Clermont, < 
John Fitch had constructed a boat operated and propelled by steam, 
and John Stevens had already sailed a steamboat, his Phoenix being 
undoubtedly the first steamboat to sail on the ocean; but Fulton applied 
the ideas of Fitch and improved upon them to such an extent that he 
is rightly regarded as the parent of steam navigation. Aided by the 
advice of Chancellor Livingston, he secured a sort of monopoly in 
steamship building and his name will always be remembered among 
those of the great benefactors of humanity. 

The portrait of Fulton by Benjamin West is justly regarded as one 

vol. lxxv. — 22. 



33° 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



of the best works of our American 
painter, who became president of 
the Boyal Academy in London. 
Fulton himself was an artist of 
considerable ability, and pursued his 
art studies in London under West's 
direction. Among his works is a 
most interesting portrait of himself, 
which can be seen in the Brooklyn 
Institute. Although this does not 
equal West's portrait in artistic 
merit, like other attempts of artists 
to portray their own features it gives 



General Stewart L. Woodford. 
President of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration 
Commission. 

us something not to be found in 
other portraits, namely, the idea, or 
perhaps we should rather say the 
ideal, the artist has formed of him- 
self. 



Henry W. Sackett, 
Secretary of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration 
Commission. 

7 In Brooklyn Institute exhibit. 
Published by his permission. 



Hermann Ridder, 

Vice-president of the Hudson-Fulton 

Celebration Commission. 

One of the most interesting of 
the printed documents referring to 
the Bevolution is an old " Broad- 
side " printed in Xew York, March 
25, 1783. 2 We are here given a 
vivid idea of the time required for 
the transmission of news in that day, 
for this sheet tells us that the first 
news of the signing of the prelim- 
inaries to the treaty of peace at Paris 
Loaned by Colonel Henry T. Chapman. 



IIUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 33* 

on January 20, 1783, reached Philadelphia, by way of Cadiz, Spain, 
on the twenty-seventh of March. 

The flora of Manhattan Island and its vicinity, in the time of Henry 
Hudson, is shown in the New York Botanical Garden, where these 
specimens are indicated by the letter " H," and in the parks of Brooklyn 
and Queens boroughs, a special sign in this case indicating the trees and 
shrubs which grew here in 1609. It is difficult for those who see this 
city of stone, brick and concrete to imagine its appearance in Henry 
Hudson's time, when stretches of meadow land alternated with groves 
or small forests of trees, over the greater part of the territory, while the 
upper part of Manhattan Island was traversed with rocky ridges rising 
in some cases to a considerable height above tide-water. Except in the 
outlying portions of the city, all these irregularities have been effaced, 
but the large parks, especially Morningside Park and a portion of 
Central Park above 100th Street, still show much of the primitive 
conditions. 

Such a transformation makes the old pictures of Manhattan Island 
seem unreal, nevertheless it should be a consolation for the present 
landowners to know that the land was duly and legally acquired by the 
first Dutch settlers, and although Peter Minuit may have made a good 
bargain, the title is clear and without stain. 

Those who wish to form some idea of the fauna of this region at the 
time of Hudson's arrival should visit the Xew York Zoological Garden, 
where the specimens in question are marked by the flag of the Hudson- 
Fulton Celebration. In the Xew York Aquarium appropriate signs 
have also been placed on the tanks containing fish indigenous to the 
Hudson River and the waters surrounding Xew York. 

For many special exhibitions catalogues have been prepared at con- 
siderable expense. The price at which they are sold scarcely covers the 
cost of printing them from the plates. A first edition of 5,000 to 10,000 
copies has been printed, but when this supply is exhausted new editions 
of, say, 2,000 copies will be issued from time to time as occasion requires. 

One of the leading features of the celebration will be a grand banquet 
of 2,000 persons in the magnificent new dining-hall of the Hotel Astor. 
This will be the greatest fine banquet ever given in this country, and 
the use of the hall has been held back to have this the initial banquet. 
It is true that in point of size it can not be compared with the dinner 
given to 22,000 maires of the French communes, at the opening of the 
Paris Exposition in 1889. Some idea of the gigantic proportions of 
this function may be given by the fact that the plates used in serving 
the dinner, if placed on top of eacli other, would have made a pile two 
miles in height. However, this was merely a dinner, while the function 
in the Hotel Astor is a grand banquet faultless in every detail. 

In Brooklyn the social side of the celebration will find expression in 



332 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



a ball to be given at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Invitations have 
been extended to the officers of the American and International fleets, 
the diplomatic representatives of foreign nations, and many other dis- 
tinguished guests, and the ball will undoubtedly be a brilliant and 
imposing affair. 

Lovers of good music will have ample opportunity to gratify their 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 333 

tastes. On Sunday evening, September 26, the masterpieces of Irish 
music and song will be rendered in Carnegie Hall by Irish citizens of 
New York, many of the songs being given in both English and Gaelic. 
In the Hippodrome, on the same evening, there will be a concert by the 
United German Singers of the Northeast District of New York. 

On Monday evening, September 27, the Hudson-Fulton official 
ceremonies will open with a reception to the distinguished visiting 
guests at the Metropolitan Opera House, when all the distinguished 
foreign guests will present their addresses, after an official welcome by 
the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission, Gen. Stewart L. Woodford, 
Charles E. Hughes, Governor of the state of Xew York, Mayor George 
B. McClellan, and Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, over ninety years old, author 
of the " Battle Hymn of the Bepublic," will recite a poem. 

On Tuesday evening, September 28, there will be a musical festival 
by the German Liederkranz in the Metropolitan Opera House, and on 
Thursday evening, September 30, a concert will be given by the Xew 
York Festival Chorus in Carnegie Hall. Lastly, there will be a sacred 
concert at Carnegie Hall by the People's Choral Union, under the 
leadership of Walter Damrosch, on Sunday, the third of October. 

Educational exercises, dealing with subjects appropriate to the 
celebration, and designed to be participated in by universities, colleges, 
schools, museums and learned and patriotic societies throughout the 
state, will be held on Wednesday, September 29. In New York City, 
the following lectures will be delivered in various rooms of the New 
York University : " Literature of the First Two Centuries of New 
York City," by Professor Francis H. Stoddard ; " Conditions Deter- 
mining the Greatness of New York City as a Commercial and Financial 
Center," by Professor Joseph F. Johnson ; " The Political History of 
New Netherlands" by Professor Marshall S. Brown ; " History of 
Education in New York/' by Professor Herman H. Home ; " Fulton 
and Other Promoters of Steam Navigation," by Professor Daniel W. 
Hering; "History of Steam Navigation," by Professor Charles E. 
Houghton; "A Comparison of the Steam Engine Before 1809 with 
Fulton's Steam Engine," by Professor Collins P. Bliss; "The Physio- 
graphic Development of the Hudson River Valley," by Professor Joseph 
E. Woodman. There will also be exercises in connection with the 
university's schools in Washington Square. In Brooklyn Borough 
there will be literary exercises on Tuesday evening, September 28, at 
the Brooklyn Academy of Music. 

Commemorative services will take place throughout the city and 
state on Saturday, September 28. On this day the Reformed Protestant 
Dutch Church of the City of New York, organized in 1628 and repre- 
senting the earliest religious organization in New York, will hold special 
commemorative services at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., in its churches at Second 



334 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Avenue and Seventh Street, Fifth Avenue and Twenty-ninth Street, 
Fifth Avenue and Forty-eighth Street and West End Avenue and 
Seventy-seventh Street. 

The Henry Hudson Monument on Spuyten Duyvil Hill will be 
dedicated on Monday, September 27, and is so placed as to form a 
prominent landmark. From a base ornamented with bas-reliefs springs 
a fluted Doric column, surmounted by a pedestal supporting the statue 
of Hudson. This monument, by Karl Bitter and Schrady, is a chaste 
and beautiful work of art. It is 110 feet high, and, being set upon an 



Gateway erected on Stony Point Battlefield by Daughters of the Revolition 

(New York State) and to be dedicated during Hudson-Fulton Celebration — 

September 25 to October 9, 1909 — as part of the official program. 

Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission. 

elevation 200 feet above tide-water, it can be seen from a distance of 
several miles up and down the Hudson Kiver, and even from the waters 
of Long Island Sound; the sum required for its erection was supplied 
by private subscription. The monument rests on the site of the Indian 
village of Xipinichsen, whence, on October 2, 1609, an attack was made 
upon the Half Moon. 

The last scene of Hudson's life makes a gloomy picture. Set adrift 
in a small boat by the mutinous crew of his ship Adriatic, he passed 
away out of the sight of men and was never heard of again. In the 
dreary hours of aimless drifting over the tossing waves, and face to face 
with death, Hudson had not even the consolation of knowing that his 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 335 

name would be handed down to posterity, and that nearly three centuries 
after his death millions of his race and speech would assemble to do 
him honor. 

Land is so valuable on Manhattan Island that but few remain of 
the old buildings associated with the early history of the city. For this 
very reason a visit to four of these historic buildings which have been 
preserved from destruction will be of interest. Fraunces' Tavern, situ- 
ated near the corner of Pearl and Broad Streets, is famous as the place 
where Washington bade farewell to his officers, December 4, 1783. The 
collection of old pictures and historic relics gathered here will gain in 
interest by the associations connected with the place. 

Another building dating from colonial times is that formerly known 
as the Morris Mansion, or the Jumel Mansion. This fine old residence 
was built about 1760 and it was here that Washington established his 
headquarters during the military operations on the upper part of Man- 
hattan Island. The building is now the property of the City of New 
York, and is under the care of the Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion (State of New York), who have brought together a very interesting 
collection of mementoes of the Revolution. 

The Van Cortland t Mansion, erected about 1748, is a fine and char- 
acteristic specimen of the colonial style of architecture, and will con- 
tain a valuable collection of portraits of men who played a leading part 
in the Revolution. This building is cared for by the Colonial Dames 
of the State of New York. 

The Aquarium building in Battery Park was originally erected, in 
1807, as a fort, and was named Fort Clinton in 1812. Many years later 
it was transformed into a theater and concert hall, under the name of 
Castle Garden. There are some still living who can recall the wild 
enthusiasm evoked by the " Swedish nightingale," Jenny Lind, when 
she made her first appearance before an American audience in this 
building. In 1855 a new use was found for Castle Garden and it 
became the goal of an immense host of immigrants, 7,690,606 passing 
through its portals in the period from 1855 to 1890. 

One of the interesting exercises connected with the celebration will 
be the dedication of the Memorial Arch erected by the Daughters of 
the American Revolution in the Stony Point Battlefield State Reser- 
vation. The ceremonies will take place on Saturday, October 2. The 
governor of the state and many prominent citizens, as well as a number 
of military and civic organizations, will be present. The National 
Scenic Preservation Society, the official custodian of the reservation, 
will cooperate in the formal exercises. 

On Wednesday, September 29, at 4 p.m., the American Scenic and 
Historic Preservation Society will dedicate the tablet erected through 
the generosity of Mr. Cornelius I\. G. Billings, on the site of Fort Tryon. 



336 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

on Fort Washington Avenue. This fort was gallantly defended on 
November 16, 1776, by the Maryland and Virginia Regiment, against 
the attack of the Hessian troops. 

The following dedications have also been officially recognized by the 
commission: On Wednesday, September 29, the City Wall Bastion 
Tablet, at Xo. 48 Wall Street, New York, marking the site of a bastion 
in the old city wall to be dedicated by the Society of Colonial Wars in 
the State of New York; the Fort Amsterdam Tablet placed on the 
United States Custom House in New York City, marking the site of 
Fort Amsterdam, dedicated by the New York Society of the Founders 
and Patriots of America. On Monday, September 27, the Palisades 
Interstate Park, extending for thirty miles along the western shore of 
the Hudson River, from Fort Lee, N. Y., to Piermont, N. Y., will be 
dedicated by the commissioners of the Interstate Palisades Park. The 
date for the dedication of the bust of Verrazzano, the Italian navigator 
who visited New York Harbor in 1524, has not yet been selected by the 
Italian societies which have donated it to the city. 

Aquatic sports will be the order of the day on Wednesday, September 
29, when boat races will be held on the Hudson River, the boats being 
manned from the crews of the foreign and American warships. There 
will also he interstate contests between members of the Naval Reserves 
from different states, canoe races and motor-boat races. At Yonkers, 
on the same day, high-power motor-boats will compete, and there will be 
boat races between various amateur crews from clubs. 

The astonishing progress in aeronautics during the past year has 
excited public interest to the highest pitch, and the celebration commis- 
sion is making every effort to assure the presence of some of the leading 
aeronauts and aviators. While the arrangements for this branch of 
the celebration are not fully completed at the time of writing, the public 
will certainly be given an opportunity to see many types of dirigibles 
and aeroplanes, and some sensational flights will be made. If the 
weather conditions are favorable, the aeronautical exhibitions will begin 
on Monday, September 27. 

In organizing the various parades and exercises, the celebration 
commission has not forgotten the children of our city, for whom special 
festivals will be held, on Saturday, October 2, at fifty different centers. 
There will be games, historical plays, folk-dances, etc., given by thou- 
sands of children from the public schools, and accommodations will be 
provided for a half million children to witness the spectacles. 

The close of the celebration in all its phases will be marked by a 
chain of immense beacon-fires lighted on mountain tops and heights 
from Staten Island to the head of navigation on Saturday evening, 
October 9. All these beacons will be connected by electric wires and 
will be lighted simultaneously by President Taft. The beacons are 
made of peat with chemicals, so that they will burn even if it rains. 



HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION OF 1909 337 



Henry Hudson Monument. To be erected on Spuyten Duyvil by popular sub- 
scription at a cost of $100,000. and to be dedicated as a part of the official program 
of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. This monument is by Karl Bitter and Schrady, 
is 110 feet high and will stand on an elevation of two hundred feet above the water, 
being visible for many miles above the Hudson River and from Long Island Sound. 

A special two-cent stamp to commemorate the Hudson-Fulton Cele- 
bration has been issued by the Post Office Department. The background 
of the design shows the Palisades, with the Half Moon sailing up the 
Hudson River, and the Clermont steaming in the opposite direction; 
in the foreground is an Indian in a canoe, and another canoe manned 
by four Indians can just be discerned in the distance. The commission 
has to thank Congressman Bennett and his colleagues, Congressmen 
Parsons and Olcott, for their successful efforts in securing the consent 
of the Postmaster General to the issue of these stamps, of which fifty 
million will be printed. 



338 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM AND ITS 
APPROPRIATION OF EFFECTORS 

By G. H. PARKER 

PROFESSOR OP ZOOLOGY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY 

IV. The Appropriation op Effectors 

IN the preceding articles in this series the origin and development of 
the neuromuscular mechanism has been broadly sketched in a suc- 
cession of representative stages. The first stage was that of the inde- 
pendent effector, the muscle which was brought into action by the direct 
influence of environmental changes as seen in the pore sphincters of 
sponges. The second stage was that of the combined receptor and 
effector in which the receptors, in the form of diffuse sensory epithelia 
or specialized sense-organs, served as delicate triggers to set the muscles 
in action and thereby render the effectors responsive to a wider range 
of stimuli than they would be under independent stimulation. Finally, 
the third stage is seen in the complete neuromuscular mechanism in 
which a central nervous organ or adjustor has developed between the 
receptors and the effectors. This adjustor serves as a switchboard for 
nervous transmission and a repository for the effects of nervous 
activities. 

This line of progressive differentiation from the muscle to the com- 
plete nervous system is complicated by the fact that in the more com- 
plete examples of the third stage the nervous system is found connected 
not only with such effectors as muscles, but with electric organs, chro- 
matophores, glands, luminous organs, etc. If the history of the growth 
of the neuromuscular mechanism as it has been sketched in these articles 
is a correct one, the effectors just named must be regarded in the light 
of relatively recent acquisitions and in my opinion they illustrate an 
invasion and appropriation on the part of the nervous system of terri- 
tory that was not originally under its control. This principle of appro- 
priation results not only in the acquisition of totally new forms of 
effectors such as glands, etc., but also in gaining control over inde- 
pendently and newly developed muscles. Examples of this kind will be 
taken up first in discussing this question of nervous appropriation. 

The differentiation of the central nervous organs is in large part a 
process that goes on hand in hand with the differentiation of the 
muscles. This is well seen not only in the higher invertebrates, but also 
in the vertebrates. The differentiation of a single muscle into a group 
of muscles and the consequent and corresponding changes in the nerv- 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 339 

ous relations, both central and peripheral, are too well known to require 
comment. To this process must be added, I believe, the appropriation 
of totally new muscles. There is good reason to assume that the heart- 
beat in tunicates is of myogenic origin and the fact that the embry- 
onic vertebrate heart pulses before it contains any nervous elements is 
strong evidence in favor of the view that the cardiac muscle of the 
primitive vertebrate was a muscle developed independently of nervous 
control. That that muscle in modern adult vertebrates is under a 
certain amount of nervous control is unquestionable, but this control is 
not of the kind usually seen in other neuromuscular combinations. The 
nerves that enter the heart are probably not ordinarily directly con- 
cerned with its beat, for, as already pointed out, this continues after 
they are cut. The function of these nerves seems to be that of modi- 
fying this beat and in this respect two classes of fibers may be. distin- 
guished: augmentors which increase the beat, and inhibitors which 
retard or even check it. This whole nervous mechanism has the appear- 
ance of having been superimposed upon a muscle that was originally 
non-nervously active, and I therefore regard the vertebrate heart as an 
example of an originally independent muscle secondarily brought under 
the influence of central nervous organs. Many other muscles, like the 
sphincter pupilla?, etc., have doubtless had a like history, but as they 
have not been investigated from this standpoint, the question of their 
exact relations to nervous control must remain for the present some- 
what open. 

In the vertebrates at least, nervous effectors include not only mus- 
cles, but also electric organs. These organs occur not infrequently among 
the fishes. They are best represented in the South American electric 
eel, the electric catfish of Africa and the torpedoes of the Mediterranean 
Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. They also occur less fully 
developed in certain skates, mormyres and the star-gazer. These organs 
are usually imbedded in a mass of the fish's muscle or they occupy such 
positions that they clearly replace muscles. Their histogenesis, as 
worked out particularly in the skates by Ewart (1888), shows con- 
clusively that each electric plate is a modified muscle-fiber and in fact 
there seems to be good reason to conclude that all known electric organs, 
excepting possibly those of the electric catfish, are modified muscles. 
This is entirely consistent with what is known of the physiology of these 
two kinds of effectors, for muscles not only move parts, but generate 
through their activity a certain amount of electricity, while the electric 
organs have lost the power of producing molar movements and have 
enormously increased that of producing electricity. Electric organs, 
though often described as a special class of effectors, are in reality 
merely modified muscles and therefore can not be regarded properly as 
a new appropriation of the nervous system. 



34© 



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



The chromatophores, on the other hand, are effectors which are in no 
sense derived from muscles. These organs enable many animals to 
make relatively sudden changes in their external coloration, and though 
they are present in many animals, they are most perfectly developed in 
the arthropods, mollusks and vertebrates. They are also present in 
the more complex types of eyes, where their 
movements serve to protect the receptive ele- 
ments from exposure to excessive light or to 
open them to the full effects of dim light. The 
investigation of these organs dates from com- 
paratively recent times and van Rynberk (1906), 
who has recently summarized our information 
about them, has shown that the accounts already 
1^ |. given are in many respects contradictory. 

I I 1/ Hence what I shall have to say I shall draw 

I M /\ A mostly from those fields with which I am some- 

what acquainted at first hand. 

That some chromatophores are completely 
independent of nervous control even though 
they are most intimately associated with nerv- 
ous mechanisms is well attested. The deeper 
part of the compound eye in the shrimp, PaJce- 
monetes, contains a layer of cells, the retinular 
cells (Fig. 1), which though they carry rhab- 
domes and end proximally in nerve-fibers and 
are therefore unquestionably sensory cells, con- 
tain many dark pigment-granules which change 
positions in accordance with the illumination. 
From this standpoint these cells are true chro- 
matophores. In an eye exposed to the light the 
pigment-granules occupy distal positions in these 
cells; in one in the dark they come to lie in 
proximal positions. The place occupied by the pigment in a given eye 
is entirely determined by the presence or absence of light in that eye, 
for the two eyes have no sympathetic relations. Moreover if a per- 
sistent shadow is cast on part of one eye, the condition characteristic for 
the dark is assumed by that part even though the pigment in the rest of 
the eye is in the position characteristic for light. These observations 
show the physiological independence of the chromatophores in different 
parts of the eye. These organs, though connected by nerve-fibers with 
the central nervous organs, are also in their action independent of such 
parts, for the movements of their pigment from the dark to the light 
position and the reverse go on in an essentially normal way even after 
these connections have been cut. Chromatophores then may carry out 
under direct stimulation somewhat complicated pigment-migrations in 




Fig. 1. Two Elements 
from the Compound Eye of 
a Shrimp, showing the dis- 
tribution of pigment in the 
light {A) and in the dark 
(B). b. basement membrane; 
c, cuticula; en, cone; n, nerve- 
liber ; r, retinular cell. 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 341 

intimate relations to the successful action of such an organ as an eye, 
and yet with complete independence of central-nervous control. 

Other chromatophores, like those in the skin of lizards, can be as 
clearly demonstrated to be under the control of nerves as those in the 
eyes of Palcemonetes have been shown to be free from this control. The 
integumentary color changes in lizards are often extremely complicated 
processes, especially in such forms as the chameleon, but they include as 
a fundamental principle the inward and outward migration of dark 
pigment-granules within certain large unicellular chromatophores (Fig. 
2). When these pigment-granules pass out into the processes of the 
chromatophores, they give to the surface of the lizard a dark or even 
black aspect. When they migrate inward to the body of the chro- 




A B 

Fig. 2. Two Chromatophores from the Skin of a Lizard, showing the con- 
dition due to the dnrk (;t) and to the light (B). c, chromatophore ; d, derma; e, 
epidermis ; g, irregular masses of ground color. 

matophore, which is often hidden in pigment masses of some particular 
color, they thus allow the ground-color behind them to assert itself. 
By this simple inward and outward migration of the pigment, the chief 
change in the color differences of the lizard's skin is accomplished. The 
question that we have to consider is to what extent these changes are 
controlled by the central nervous organs. 

The inward and outward migration of the pigment of the chromato- 
phores is well seen in the skin of the so-called Florida chameleon, 
Anolis. According to Carlton (1903), who has studied this animal 
with care, the passive state in its chromatophores is that in which their 
pigment is gathered together in the cell-bodies. This state is brought 
about when the lizard is removed from the stimulating effect of light, 
when the blood and nerve supply of a given region are cut off, when the 
animal is etherized, or when it dies. In fact any change that might be 
expected to interfere with nervous activity calls forth this condition. 
Since nicotine is a poison for the sympathetic nervous system, render- 
ing it temporarily inactive, and since the inward migration of the chro- 
matophoral pigment is immediately produced on injecting a very small 
amount of nicotine into the Anolis, it is probable that the reverse 
process, the outward migration, is dependent upon the normal action of 



342 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

these poisoned parts, the sympathetic nerves. For these reasons I be- 
lieve that in Anolis the inward migration is a process which is ordinarily 
under the control of the chromatophore itself and that the outward 
migration, which takes place all over the animal when even only a small 
spot in the skin is illuminated (Parker and Starratt, 1905), is depend- 
ent upon the action of sympathetic nerves. 

In the true Chameleon, as Brucke (1852) and many others have 
demonstrated, precisely the reverse is true; the outward migration is 
independent of nerves and the inward migration is produced by them. 
Moreover, judging from the results of experiments on the spinal cord, 
the nerves which in Chameleon are concerned with these changes are not 
sympathetic nerves, but spinal nerves. 

These differences between Anolis and Chameleon I believe to be well 
founded. In my opinion both animals have descended from a stock 
in which the chromatophores were entirely independent of nervous 
control and in the process of descent the chromatophores of different 
lines became separately appropriated as effectors of the nervous system. 
In the ancestors of Anolis the sympathetic nervous system became re- 
lated to the outward migration of pigment; and in those of the Chame- 
leon the spinal system associated itself with the inward migration. 
The fact that Chameleon and Anolis belong not only to separate 
families, but to separate suborders of lizards, rather emphasizes this 
view than otherwise. 

Such instances as the independent retinal chromatophores of Palat- 
monetes and the nervously dependent chromatophores of Chameleon 
and Anolis lead me to believe that chromatophores are effectors evolved 
independently of nervous control, but in some cases secondarily appro- 
priated as nervous end-organs. 

What has been said of chromatophores so far as their relation to 
nerves is concerned is probably also true of glands. The majority of 
glands are unquestionably independent of direct nervous control. In 
almost all instances a blood supply is essential to the action of a gland, 
and as this can be controlled by nerves there is thus an indirect influ- 
ence of the nervous system on the action of the gland, but this nervous 
control over the blood supply is very different from a direct nervous 
control over secretion. I know of no good reason to assume that nerves 
have any direct influence on the secretions of the kidneys, the liver or 
even the pancreas. The pancreatic juice which appears with such pre- 
cision on the arrival of food in the small intestine has been shown by 
Bayliss and Starling (1904) to be secreted not through the action of 
nerves on the gland, but through the action of a substance, secretin, 
produced by the food in the intestine and carried by the blood to the 
gland. If into the blood of a fasting animal whose nerves to the pan- 
creas have been cut a small amount of secretin is injected, the pan- 
creas will begin to produce its characteristic secretion. 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 343 

Although most glands are not under direct nervous control, some 
are as completely under this control as the majority of muscles are. 
The best examples of this condition are the sweat glands and the sali- 
vary glands. The fact that when the nerves supplied to the salivary 
gland are stimulated, secretion may take place at a pressure higher than 
that of the blood supplied to the gland shows conclusively that the 
production of saliva is not a simple organic filtration process, but is de- 
pendent upon action called forth in the secretory cells by a nervous 
impulse. This view gains additional support from the fact that in the 
salivary glands nerve fibers have been found to end in connection with 
the secretory cells. There is therefore every reason to believe that the 
salivary glands, and the same may be said of the sweat glands, are 
organs whose secretions are directly controlled by nerves. 

As these several examples show, some glands are completely under 
the control of nerves and others are not. In my opinion the latter 
represent the primitive state of this form of effector and the former the 
condition after such organs have been appropriated by the developing 
nervous system. 

Luminous or phosphorescent organs afford another class of effectors 
which have probably originated independently and fallen secondarily 
under the influence of the nervous system. These organs, however, 
have been studied so imperfectly that it is at present difficult if not im- 
possible to get satisfactory evidence as to their exact condition. Some 
animals have been supposed to possess phosphorescent organs when in 
reality their luminosity was due entirely to reflection; others like cer- 
tain earthworms were found to be phosphorescent because their slime 
contained photogenic bacteria. But aside from these spurious cases 
there is an abundant range of truly phosphorescent animals, examples of 
which occur from protozoans to vertebrates. One peculiarity in their 
distribution is that true phosphorescent animals are not found in fresh 
water; they are either marine or air-inhabiting. 

In all cases where animal phosphorescence has been examined with 
care, it seems to be dependent upon the production of a special sub- 
stance by the light-producing cells. This substance is not in the na- 
ture of a living, structurally organized material like muscle, for it can 
be crushed into a paste and still show light. Moreover, Bongardt (1903) 
dried the phosphorescent organ of a common firefly over calcium 
chloride and then kept it in a sealed tube from July 16, 1901, till Au- 
gust 3, 1902, a period of over a year. After this the tube was opened 
and the organ wet with distilled water; in twelve minutes it glowed so 
that it could be seen at a distance of two meters. Evidence of this kind 
supports the view that the phosphorescent substance is not living but 
rather formed material, such as a secretion, and resembles in this re- 
spect pepsin or trysin. 



344 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

If phosphorescent organs produce a suhstance essentially a secre- 
tion to which their characteristic activity is due, they might without 
impropriety he classed as glands, but if they are thus classed, it must 
he remembered that the majority of them are so placed that they have 
no access to cavities or the exterior ; hence they would be in the nature 
of ductless glands. In one icspeet, however, they differ even from 
ductless glands; the substance that they produce is not carried away 
from them even by the blood-stream hut is used locally for the produc- 
tion of light. Hence though phosphorescent organs may be in many 
impoitant respects like glands, they differ in certain ways from all 
ordinary glands. 

Whether phosphorescent oigans are under the control of nerves or 
not is a question of some uncertainty. The fact that many highly 
specialized phosphorescent organs have a rich innervation indicates that 
they are under nervous influence, but even this may be of the indirect 
kind such as has already been indicated for glands and not a direct 
control. In ctenophores Peters (1905) has shown that a few paddle- 
plates will glow on mechanical stimulation precisely as the rows of 
plates in the normal animals do. He has also shown that the primitive 
nervous system of these animals plays no direct part in this phos- 
phorescence. This instance seems to me to be a perfectly clear case of 
phosphorescence not under the control of nerves, though in an animal 
with a nervous mechanism. 

In the common firefly the relations are not so well understood. 
Thus Bongardt (1903), though he desciibes an intimate nervous plexus 
in the luminous organ of this animal, believes that its rhythmic photo- 
genic activity is not under even indirect nervous control. He main- 
tains, on what, however, is not really strong experimental evidence, that 
the firefly can not extinguish its light through nervous action and he 
believes that the phosphorescent rhythm is due to totally different fac- 
tors. This case merely shows the fragmentary nature of our knowledge 
of this phenomenon even in so well-known an example as the firefly. 

As a good instance of nervous control over phosphorescence the 
brittlestar, Ophiopsila, recently studied by Mangold (1907), may be 
quoted. On mechanical stimulation the ventral surfaces of the arms 
of this animal glow for a short time. The phosphorescence begins in 
the stimulated part and, if this be an arm, it may spread over this arm 
to the disk and thence to the other arms. The course that it follows is 
that of the radial and circular nerve-strands. If any of these are in- 
terrupted by being cut, the phosphorescence does not pass beyond the 
cut, thus showing that it is probably controlled by the nerve. 

These instances, few and confessedly fragmentary as they are, indi- 
cate that phosphorescent organs, though in many important respects 
like glands, are in reality a separate class of effectors and that in some 



ORIGIN OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM 345 

instances their action is independent of nervous control, while in others 
it is under this control. In my opinion the instances of independent 
action represent a primitive state ; the others a condition brought about 
through the appropriation of these organs as end-organs by a develop- 
ing nervous system. 

If what has been stated in this article is correct, we must picture to 
ourselves as steps in the evolution of the nervous system not only the 
independent origin of muscle around which the nervous organs subse- 
quently develop, but also the independent origin of other effectors such 
as chromatophores, glands and phosphorescent organs and the second- 
ary appropriation of many of these by a developing nervous system. 
This principle of appropriation I believe to be as significant in elucida- 
ting the present condition of the nervous system and its appendages, as 
the principle of evolutionary sequence of parts, muscle, sense organ, 
and central nervous organ, as given in the first three articles. 

References 

Bayliss, W. M., and E. H. Stabling. 

1904. The Chemical Regulation of the Secretory Process. Proc. Roy. Soc., 
London, vol. 73, pp. 310-322. 

Bongardt, J. 

1903. Beitr&ge zur Kenntnis der Leuchtorgane einheimischer Lampyriden. 
Zeitschr. wiss. Zool., Bd. 65, pp. 1-45, 3 Taf. 
Brucke, E. 

1852. Untersuchungen ueber den Farbenwechsel des afrikanischen Cha- 
maeleons*. Denkschr. Akad. Wiss., Wien, math.-naturw. CI., Bd. 4, 
34 pp., 1 Taf. 
Carlton, F. C. 

1903. The Color Changes in the Skin of the so-called Florida Chameleon, 
Anolis carolinensis Cuv. Proc Amer. Acad. Arts and Sci., vol. 39, 
pp. 259-276, 1 pi. 
Ewart, J. C. 

1888. The Electric Organs of the Skate. On the Development of the 
Electric Organs of Raia batis. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., London, B, 
vol. 179, pp. 399-416, pis. 66-68. 
Mangold, E. 

1907. Leuchtende Schlangensterne und die Flimmerbewegung bei Ophiop- 
sila. Arch. ges. Physiol., Bd. 118, pp. 613-640. 
Parker, G. H. 

1897. Photomechanical Changes in the Retinal Pigment Cells of Pal»- 
monetes, and their Relation to the Central Nervous System. Bull. 
Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. 30, pp. 275-300, 1 pi. 
Parker, G. H., and S. A. Starratt. 

1905. Color Changes in Anolis. Science, n. ser., vol. 21, p. 381. 
Peters, A. W. 

1905. Phosphorescence in Ctenophores. Journ. Exp. Zool., vol. 2, p. 103- 
116. 

VAN RYNBERK, G. 

1906. Ueber den durch Chromatophoren bedingten Farbenwechsel der Tiere. 
Ergeb. Physiol., Jahrg. 5, Abt. 1 and 2, pp. 347-571. 

vol. lxxv.— 23. 



346 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE SERVICE OF ZOOLOGY TO INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS 1 



By Pbofessob WILLIAM A. LOCY 

NOBTHWBSTHBN UNIVEBSITT 



UNDOUBTEDLY the progress of zoology has played an important 
part in the intellectual development of civilized mankind, but 
the way in which it has moulded thought is but vaguely appreciated by 
most people. On that account it is my purpose to discuss the question 
of the service of zoology to intellectual progress. 

We speak of the intellectual development of civilized mankind, 
meaning thereby the general level of mental development that any 
people has attained ; and we observe that the circumstance that chiefly 
sets one people on a pinnacle higher than another people is their degree 
of intellectual development. 

There is nothing that aflEects us all more closely than that our young 
people should learn to think straight, and that they should ally them- 
selves with the thought of their time, and take part in it, because this 
mental life of ours is remaking for us our ideas of the universe in which 
we live. It is not peopling it with phantasies and dreams so much as 
with realities. There was never a time before when realities were so 
carefully sought after. 

If we look into history we shall see that there has been a ruling 
power in the mental life of diflEerent peoples characteristic of every age, 
such as the mental devotion of the Romans to law and government, of 
the Greeks to art and philosophical disquisitions, of the people of the 
middle ages to mystical metaphysics and theological dogma, and so on. 

Let us now ask : " What is the dominant note in intellectual life to- 
day ?" Is it not a greater care to determine the truth ? Is it not the 
investigating spirit? Is it not that spirit which we may designate 
generically as the scientific spirit? Perhaps great material prosperity 
is the most evident aspect of life to-day, but in the mental sphere there 
is certainly a disposition to analyze, to experiment and to arrive at con- 
clusions by the method of observation and reasoning. 

This situation is very different from the one from which the civilized 
world has recently emerged. A former state prevailed in which author- 
ity was declared to be the source of knowledge. In the sixteenth cen- 
tury, and earlier, men believed things not because they could be shown 
to be true, but because some one had said they were true. In order to 
crush out dissent the authority for a certain statement was quoted, and 
the authority cited was usually one of the ancient writers. 

1 The annual address before the Iowa State Academy of Science, April 30, 
1909. 



ZOOLOGY AND INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS 347 

The Revival of Learning. — But the human mind, ever restive to 
discover the relation between causes and effects in the production of 
natural phenomena, would not permanently brook this restraint. The 
minds of the more energetic and independent thinkers revolted against 
the reign of authority, and, under the leadership of such minds, there 
began a reform that is known to us all under the title of the revival of 
learning, a reform of wide extent and of great importance to the hu- 
man race. I wish to take a few minutes to point out that the essence 
of this reform consisted in a change in the method of the pursuit of 
knowledge. 

This so-called revival of learning affords a striking illustration of 
how a change in mental interests may have great consequences for those 
who engage in it. Let us first picture to ourselves the fruits of the 
mental life of the middle ages, and then contrast this with the results 
of the changed method of ascertaining truth introduced at the time of 
the revival of learning. 

It is an old, oft-repeated story, how with the overthrow of ancient 
civilization the torch of learning was nearly extinguished. Not only 
was there a complete political revolution; there was also a complete 
change in the mental interests of mankind. The situation was com- 
plex, and it is true that there were many influences at work, but the 
extinction of all scientific activity which occurred at this time was due 
to a complete arrest of inquiry into the phenomena of nature. The 
physicist no longer experimented, the naturalist no longer sought for 
relation and causes in living beings. 

One circumstance that played a considerable part in the cessation 
of scientific investigation at this time was the rise of the christian 
church and the dominance of the priesthood in intellectual as well as in 
spiritual life. The world-shunning spirit, so scrupulously cultivated 
by the early christians, promoted a spirit that was hostile to observation. 
The behest to shun the world was acted upon too literally. The eyes 
were closed to nature and the mind was directed towards spiritual 
matters, which truly seemed of higher importance. Presently the ob- 
servation of nature came to be looked upon as proceeding from a prying 
and impious curiosity — as an attempt to search out the concealments of 
the Almighty. 

Books were scarce, schools of philosophy were reduced, and any gen- 
eral dissemination of learning ceased. The priests who had access to 
the books assumed the direction of intellectual life. But they were 
largely employed with the analysis of the supernatural, and without the 
wholesome checks of observation and experiment, mystical explanations 
were invented for natural phenomena, while metaphysical speculation 
became the dominant form of mental activity. 

Authority declared the Source of Knowledge. — In this atmosphere 
free inquiry could not live, controversies over trivial points were en- 



348 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

gendered and the ancient writings were quoted as sustaining one side 
or the other. All this led to referring questions as to their truth or 
error to authority as the source of knowledge, and resulted in a com- 
plete eclipse of the reason. 

This was a barren period, not only for science, but also, curiously 
enough, for those studies which were especially engaged in. Notwith- 
standing the fact that for more than a thousand years all the new works 
were written by theologians, there was no substantial advance in their 
field of learning, and the reflection comes to us that the reciprocal ac- 
tion of free inquiry is an essential condition for the growth of any de- 
partment of learning. 

We should remember that the mental life of the Middle Ages was 
active. It is a mistake to suppose that men of those times differed 
much in their mental powers from those of to-day. The medieval phi- 
losophers were masters of the metaphysical method of argument, and 
their ingenuity and mental alertness were great. The principal thing 
that held progress in check was the method of setting about to ascer- 
tain truth. 

Renewal of Observation. — It was an epoch of great importance, 
therefore, when men began again to observe, and to attempt, even in an 
unskilful way, hampered by intellectual inheritance and habit, to unravel 
the mysteries of nature and to trace the relation between causes and 
effects in the universe. The new movement was, as previously said, a 
Tevolt of the intellect against existing conditions. In this movement 
were embraced all the benefits that have resulted from the development 
of modern science. The invention of printing, the voyages of mariners, 
the growth of universities, all helped in a general way, but just as the 
pause in science a thousand years or more earlier had been owing to the 
turning away from nature and to new mental interests, so the revival 
was a return to nature and to the method of science. 

The Widening Horizon. — The reign of authority in intellectual mat- 
ters lasted for twelve centuries, and then gave way gradually to the 
reign of observation and reason. Under the influence of the new 
method we have been moving generation by generation into a state of 
clearer discernment and into an intellectual atmosphere of wider 
horizon. 

There is an inspiration in this ever-widening horizon. We must 
recognize, I think, that there has been a reconstructive force accom- 
panying scientific progress. Wherever traditional opinion has been 
uprooted something more helpful to humanity has been planted. 
When rightly understood, we see that this freer life of thought has been 
constructive and helpful, not merely iconoclastic. Man has once again 
taken his high place in the world as the interpreter of nature, and as 
investigation widens his comprehension of the laws of natural phe- 



ZOOLOGY AND INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS 349 

nomena, he is extending his control in the sphere of nature and turning 
natural forces to his advantage. 

The Study of Nature. — I now turn to another phase of the subject, 
viz. : to a consideration of the effect upon mental life of advances in the 
knowledge of natural phenomena. Let us, if possible, catch a glimpse 
of the edifice that has been built upon the foundation since the early 
naturalists broke ground and began operations. 

One of the most notable things of the last half century has been the 
mental evolution produced by the great extension of knowledge of 
organic nature. This more intimate acquaintance with natural phe- 
nomena, and of living nature in particular, has altered our way of look- 
ing at the world, and especially of our relation to it. The whole fabric 
of thinking has been so profoundly changed by the biological advances 
to which I refer that all educated people ought to make themselves ac- 
quainted with the generalizations of biology and with the foundations 
upon which they rest. This science is not a remote branch of learning ; 
it touches every-day life at many points, and affects our well-being more 
closely than is generally realized. 

The study of nature and the explanation of natural phenomena pos- 
sess an inherent interest to which most minds respond. The physicist 
and chemist have for their territory the field of inorganic nature, but 
the biologist has the advantage of dealing with the living world. 
There is, in reality, nothing in the sphere of knowledge more fascina- 
ting than the study of life. Any reference to the part that bacteria play 
in the world awakens a responsive interest. Beferences to the doctrine 
of evolution, and the light it throws on the origin of the human body as 
well as on the races of animals, arouse attention. The teachings of 
science in reference to the life of the globe have awakened wonder, 
sometimes dissent, but always interest. 

Zoology the Central Subject. — Xow the kind of knowledge to which 
I am referring belongs to the domain of biology, and in that domain 
zoology is the central subject. Many people think of zoology as it was 
in the time of Linnaeus, or, at best, as it was in the early part of the 
nineteenth century, when the spiritless activity of species-making was 
its prominent feature. It is no longer merely a mass of knowledge that 
enables its devotees to name animals and to arrange systematically a 
cabinet. Zoology of to-day is vastly different ; it has become one of the 
leading departments of science. While dealing with the structure, the 
development and the evolution of animal life, it at the same time brings 
one into contact with those changes in human opinion for which its own 
advances have been largely responsible. 

From the group of the natural sciences there emerges into prominent 
place the princely science of zoology. As was said before, it is the cen- 
tral subject in all that advance in the knowledge of organic nature to 
which reference has been made. It is best fitted, it seems to me, to give 



350 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

to the students in our colleges and universities an idea of the results of 
the activity of the nature seekers. Its sister science, botany, which runs 
parallel to it, deals with similar phenomena in plants. Still, it is only 
among animals that we find nervous responses tolerably well developed. 
The presence of a nervous system in animals in connection with a highly 
developed state of other organs affords a more comprehensive picture 
of vital activity. If I seem, in this statement, to show bias, it should be 
set down to the circumstance that my activities for some years have 
been taken up mainly with the study of animal life. 

The observations in zoology, as carried on to-day, are so illumina- 
ting and have such important bearings that we can see why it is that all 
over the civilized world it has been given such a prominent place in 
universities and colleges. We begin to understand why great buildings 
are constructed for its laboratories, and why a number of men in one 
faculty represent different phases of zoological investigation. This is 
why in the State University of Iowa, as in other similar institutions, 
zoology has come to occupy a prominent and an honored place in the 
curriculum of studies. 

It is the ideas of this science woven into the fabric of human 
thought which I have in mind, rather than merely its details. Dis- 
jointed fragments of knowledge are of little worth ; they must be com- 
bined into a unity before they have much meaning. Isolated facts 
should be treated as merely specific illustrations of broad truths. The 
study of one stone in an edifice as to its chemical analysis, its resistance 
to strain and crushing weight, and its microscopic structure, will not 
give us an idea of the edifice as a whole. Thus it is that after our stu- 
dents have observed and experimented in the laboratory they must, 
under the guidance of the lecturer, be brought to see the relation of 
their specific observations to zoology as a science. 

It is owing largely to advances in zoology that we are enabled to 
formulate theories about the world, the history of living beings on it, 
and the part they play in the scheme of nature. It is owing to the in- 
tellectual progress that zoology has chiefly promoted that we have been 
able to comprehend the structure of the human body and thereby to 
discern the means of promoting its well being and assisting in its care. 

It is owing chiefly to the advances supplied by the study of zoology 
that one can adequately appreciate the soliloquy that Shakespeare puts 
in the mouth of Hamlet : " What a piece of work is man ! how noble in 
reason ! how infinite in faculty ! in form and moving how express and 
admirable ! in action how like an angel ! in apprehension how like a god ! 
the beauty of the world ! the paragon of animals !" 

His structure and his development excite in the mind of the anato- 
mist the same measure of admiration and wonder. And we observe in 
passing that the most discerning anatomists are the comparative anato- 
mists of zoology. 



ZOOLOGY AND INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS 351 

The Growth of Zoology, — Let us now look at some general phases 
in the growth of zoology. In its first stages of growth we find a period 
devoted to descriptions. In the time of Linnaeus, for illustration, em- 
phasis was placed on collecting, describing and systematically arrang- 
ing all the different kinds of animals. This resulted in giving natural- 
ists a knowledge of the form and appearance of the chief animals that 
inhabit the globe, and formed the basis upon which further progress 
could be made. 

• We can not, however, reach general conclusions without the exami- 
nation of many facts, and there was naturally a long period devoted 
merely to the accumulation of facts about animals. 

The next great step in advance was that of comparison. The con- 
trast between description and comparison is brought out so clearly by 
I. P. Whipple in his essay on Louis Agassiz that I quote from it. He 
says: 

My first impression of the genius of Agassiz was gained when he was in the 
full vigor of his mental and physical powers. Some thirty-five years ago (now 
sixty-five years), at a meeting of a literary and scientific club of which I hap- 
pened to be a member, a discussion sprang up concerning Dr. Hitchcock's book 
on fossil " Bird-tracks," and plates were exhibited representing his geological 
discoveries. After much time had been consumed in describing the bird-tracks 
as isolated phenomena, and in lavishing compliments on Dr. Hitchcoock, a man 
suddenly rose, who, in five minutes, dominated the whole assembly. He was, he 
said, much interested in the specimens before them, and he would add that he 
thought highly of Dr. Hitchcock's book, as far as it accurately described the 
curious and interesting facts he had unearthed; but, he added, the defect in 
Dr. Hitchcock's volume is this, that it is " dees-creep-teeve," and not " com- 
par-a-teeve." It was evident throughout that the native language of the critic 
was French, and that he found some difficulty in forcing his thoughts into 
English words, but I can never forget the intense emphasis he put on the words 
" descriptive " and " comparative," and by this emphasis flashing into the minds 
of the whole company the difference between an enumeration of strange, unex- 
plained facts and the same facts as interpreted and put into relation with other 
facts more generally known. 

The moment he contrasted " dees-creep-teeve " with " com-par-a-teeve " one 
felt the vast gulf that yawned between mere scientific observation and scientific 
intelligence, between eyesight and insight, between minds that doggedly perceive 
and describe and minds that instinctively compare and combine. 

The descriptive and comparative stages in zoology, of course, over- 
lapped. It was in the early part of the nineteenth century that Cuvier, 
the great French zoologist and legislator, founded the science of com- 
parative anatomy, and this brought the comparative method into the 
study of zoology. The beneficent results of this were notable, and 
zoological knowledge broadened and deepened. 

In the last part of the nineteenth century zoologists added another 
method to the investigation of animal life; they began to study proc- 
esses by the experimental method. This was not merely the extension 
of physiology into zoology. The new method involved experiments upon 



352 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

the development of the embryo and sought to trace the modifications 
resulting from changes in the conditions of growth and development. 
It opened the way to those extensive experiments on regulation that 
have been engaged in by some of our American zoologists. Experi- 
ments were further extended to the study of heredity and evolution. 

Thus description, comparison and experiment, came to mark differ- 
ent phases in the progress of zoology. Certain other nineteenth century 
advances can be merely alluded to. Those that had the greatest influ- 
ence on the progress of zoology were the establishment of the cell theory, 
the discovery of protoplasm and the acceptance of the doctrine of 
organic evolution. If time permitted, a fuller consideration of these 
great events in the history of zoological science might be profitable, but 
I must hasten to another division of the subject. 

The Idea of Service. — In these days we have come to estimate the 
worth of achievements in the terms of service. We hear on every hand 
the inquiry, How is this man or that man fitted to serve his time and 
generation ? When inquiries come to the universities regarding one of 
their graduates seeking place in the world, the chief inquiry is, what is 
his promise of service ? We do not always mean by this the narrow idea 
of direct utility — the faculty to make something that will sell — but 
more often that capacity for usefulness to the state and to society that 
depends on broad education, on discernment of essentials, that has been 
gained by freeing the mind from hereditary hindrances and from those 
grosser misunderstandings of natural phenomena that we class as super- 
stitions. The university is a place where such basal training is carried 
on. The activity of the university is a crusade not only against igno- 
rance, but also against superstition. 

It is this kind of service for which the progress of science is espe- 
cially conspicuous, and this brings us naturally to the consideration of 
the service of one science in particular. I wish to maintain that for the 
past century the progress of zoology has exercised a strong and whole- 
some influence upon the intellectual development of the race. The 
date of a century is an arbitrary limit, but the event I have in mind is 
the publication in 1809 of Lamarck's " Philosophic Zoologique," that 
contained the first comprehensive theory of organic evolution that has 
survived to the present day. 

Very likely the idea is a novel one to many that the influence of zo- 
ology upon intellectual progress has been considerable. While one may 
not dissent from the proposition, he might very well wish to have it 
supported by specific illustrations. 

Influence of Zoology on General Enlightenment. — Let us consider 
first the part this science has played in general enlightenment. Its 
influence has been great in clearing the atmosphere of thought, in dis- 
pelling clouds and in freeing the mind from the bonds of inherited 
prejudice and traditional superstition. At the beginning of the revival 



ZOOLOGY AND INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS 353 

of learning there were fantastic and grotesque misconceptions. The 
idea of the resurrection bone was one of these — the belief that in the 
body there was an indestructible bone that formed the nucleus of the 
resurrection body. This view was demonstrated to be untenable by 
Vesalius, the reformer of anatomy in the sixteenth century and the 
forerunner of the morphologists of zoology. Other points about the 
structure of man and animals, equally fantastic, were upheld, and 
against one who ventured to disbelieve in them the cry of heretic was 
raised. We may at first sight think that crude misunderstandings are 
harmless vagaries, but when viewed as to their consequences we see that 
this class of superstitions has led to intolerance and persecutions. As 
illustrations there come to mind the horrors of the inquisition, the 
cruel and harmful ideas of witchcraft, the brutal and wicked persecu- 
tion of men and women for holding saner views than the majority of 
mankind of the part played by the Almighty in his universe. It is one 
of the blessings of progress that mankind has been relatively freed from 
persecutions of this nature. These grotesque beliefs and superstitions 
were dispelled by advances in the knowledge of the organization of ani- 
mals. Wherever investigation in this territory prospered, it shed light 
and dispelled error. 

From one point of view the fossil remains of extinct animals belong 
to the sphere of the zoologist, for the fossil animals were the ancestors 
of the living ones. It was two zoologists, Cuvier and Lamarck, that 
founded the science of paleontology, one that of the vertebrate series, 
and the other that of the invertebrate. When fossil bones were first 
unearthed they excited stupid wonder and amazement, and the most 
fantastic theories were proposed to account for them. They were re- 
garded as bones of giants, as remains deposited by the deluge, etc., but 
finally were accepted as the remains of former races of animals and 
were turned to account as supplying an index to the past history of the 
earth. The constantly increasing collections of fossil remains of ani- 
mals are enabling us to understand something of the momentous 
changes that have passed over the succession of animal forms that have 
lived upon the globe. The accounts of the discoveries of prehuman 
remains, connecting by gradations with races now living, are extending 
into remote periods our conception of the antiquity of man. These 
matters arouse interest and discussion, and the sweep of all these dis- 
coveries brings with it a widening of the horizon of human understand- 
ing. The historical relations of fossils have been established by a great 
number of talented observers. Without any disparagement to other 
men who have done notable work in this field, I mention but one, Henry 
F. Osborn, of New York, who is one of our most distinguished Ameri- 
can zoologists. With the enormous collections at his disposal he has 
devoted himself with marked success to making out the relations of 



354 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

fossil forms to living forms and he has succeeded in tracing the remote 
ancestry of a number of living races of mammals. 

The Constancy of Nature. — As one great result of the investigations 
of the nature seekers, there was established a belief in the constancy of 
nature, and from the work of the zoologists in particular came the idea 
that all animal life is the result of one orderly progress. Animal or- 
ganization leads up to the structure of the human body, and on this 
account there has always been a tender point in discussing the evidences 
as to man's place in nature. 

This belief in the constancy of nature was a great step in intellec- 
tual development. In its broad application it means that the entire 
universe and all on it is the result of an orderly and well-directed 
progress. It leaves no room for the idea of chance. Eemote ancestral 
man did not rise by chance from the animal series. The gill-clefts in 
the human embryo are not there by chance. Their presence has some 
significance, if haply we may find it. The great service of establish- 
ing the idea of orderly progress in nature is part of the heritage of work 
already done. The idea, in so far as it involves living and fossil forms 
of animals, is owing to the progress of zoology. 

Some Practical Applications. — Let us now consider secondly some 
of the applications of zoological advances to the benefit of mankind. 
It was owing to the cooperation of botany and zoology that the germ 
theory of disease was established. The bacteria are, of course, plants. 
The method of studying their action on animals is zoological. There 
are also diseases produced by minute animal organisms, such as 
malaria or common fever and ague. As has long been known, this 
disease is due to an animal parasite that infects the red blood cor- 
puscles. It is only within recent years, however, that the entire life 
history of these animal parasites has been made out. As you all know, 
part of their life cycle is passed in a certain kind of mosquito. The 
disease itself has been shown to be owing to bites of these mosquitoes, 
and this fact pointed out the way of avoiding malaria. The ingenuous 
methods by means of which the propagation of mosquitoes is prevented 
has freed many malarious districts from pestilence. These discoveries 
opened the entire question of the transmission of disease by insects, 
and now, thanks to those brilliant observations and experiments in 
which some men sacrificed their lives, we know the entire life history 
of the microbe of yellow fever. We know it is transmitted by mosquito 
bites, and that disease can now be controlled. The Roman fever, once 
much dreaded by travelers, and the fever of the Campagna may be 
avoided. Thanks also to zoological studies, these diseases no longer 
strike in the dark. We can recognize their approach and avoid inocu- 
lation. The scourge of the sleeping sickness that attacks the people of 
the Congo district is due to an animal parasite. The terrible scourge of 
syphilis has recently been traced to a minute organism that is probably 



ZOOLOGY AND INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS 355 

animal. The recognition of these facts is the first step towards gaining 
control of the disease. 

There are other larger animal parasites like trichina, the tape worm, 
the filaria of the blood, etc., the life history of which is due to zoologists. 
Some of us recollect that the most comprehensive treatment of these is 
due to Leuckart, a zoologist. His " Die Menschlichen Parasiten " is a 
piece of research in pure science. The phagocyte theory, with all its 
implications, was given to the world by a zoologist — Metchnikoff. 

The study of cancer, trypanosomes, opsonins, etc., are being studied 
by zoologists as well as by medical men, and the work of the medical 
men with these subjects is chiefly by zoological methods. 

Studies of animal behavior, so extensively carried on by zoologists, 
are reacting on psychology and lighting the way to new advances in 
that science. Those zoological studies on the wonderful architecture 
of the nervous system (to which some of your men in the state univer- 
sity have contributed) are bringing a knowledge of the mechanism of 
the brain, and throwing light on its normal processes and its disorders. 
Leading up through these studies and the inferences to be drawn from 
them, we arrive at the science of comparative psychology. Furthermore 
the study of localization of function in definite areas of the brain sub- 
stance has opened the way to brain surgery. 

The studies of heredity in animals embrace many practical hints to 
stock breeders and to medical men. 

But we can not make a comprehensive list of the large number of 
practical applications that come from zoological investigation. The 
illustrations already given are sufficient to indicate that studies in pure 
science often become of the highest practical value. The practical ap- 
plications will follow fast enough upon the heels of advancing knowl- 
edge. The essential thing, as well as the difficult thing, is, by research, 
to uncover the facts and to make the first demonstrations. 

Encouragement of Scientific Research. — I wish to speak just a word 
in appreciation of the men who extend the boundaries of knowledge, 
and a word in favor of the encouragement of pure research. The in- 
vestigators are necessarily somewhat removed from their fellows and, 
therefore, often misunderstood. Theirs is a career of intense applica- 
tion and sacrifice. Scientific knowledge is not advanced by happy 
guesses in moments of inspiration, but only by continuous and well 
directed effort. He who would wrest from nature her secrets must 
prepare for the struggle by long training and must follow his calling 
with intense devotion. Often must he forego the pleasure of social re- 
laxation in order that the discoveries that he is nursing into being 
may not suffer. When his work is reaching a climax he leads a lonely 
existence. 

The spirit that still animates men of this type is that so long ago 
exemplified by Agassiz. As Whipple says : 



356 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

From him came the most notable of all the maxims which illustrate the 
disinterestedness of the chivalry of science. At the time he was absorbed in 
some minute investigations in a difficult department of zoology, he received a 
letter from the president of a lyceum at the West, offering him a large sura for 
a course of popular lectures on natural history. His answer was : " I can not 
afford to waste my time in making money." The words deserve to be printed 
in capitals; but Agassiz was innocently surprised that a sentiment very natural 
to him should have excited so much comment. He knew that scores of his 
brother scientists, American and European, would have used the words " afford " 
and "waste" in the same sense, had they been similarly interrupted in an 
investigation which promised to yield them a new fact or principle. Still the 
announcement from such an authority that there was a body of men in the 
United States who could not " afford to waste time " in making money had an 
immense effect. It convinced thousands of intelligent and opulent men of 
business, who had never before thought a moment of time devoted to the making 
of money could be wasted, that science meant something; and it made them 
liberal of their money when it was asked for scientific purposes. It did even 
more than this — it made them honor the men who were placed above the motives 
by which they themselves were ordinarily influenced. 

Men of proved capacity who are willing to devote themselves to re- 
search will enter upon it with no selfish motives. They should be 
classed among the benefactors of mankind, engaged in a useful service. 
They should be encouraged by men of wealth, by state legislatures and 
by the establishment of endowments to provide the means of carrying 
on their researches. There are men of this kind in the State Univer- 
sity of Iowa ; to the citizens of the state I would say : " These men are a 
valuable asset to the state," and to the university authorities I would 
say : " Honor these men and encourage the pursuit of graduate studies 
under their direction." To any in the rising generation of students 
who have the internal leading to follow a career devoted to scientific 
investigation, if they are gifted and energetic, let them without hesita- 
tion enter upon this career. The compensations will be chiefly internal. 
Those who enter upon scientific investigation as a life work must forego 
certain material prizes in the world that await equally well-directed 
efforts in other lines of activity, but they will have other kinds of com- 
pensations — in living close to great truths, and realizing in their dis- 
coveries that thrill of the searcher when he has found, and after long 
years feeling the uplift of their occupation. Nevertheless, they must 
learn to renounce and not be embittered as Robert Louis Stevenson 
wrote in that little gem of composition on the attributes of men. 

To be honest, to be kind, to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make 
upon the whole a family happier by his presence, to renounce when that shall 
be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends, but these without 
capitulation, above all, on the same grim condition to keep friends with himself 
— here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy. 

The Doctrine of Organic Evolution. — The crowning service of zo- 
ology in extending the boundaries of human understanding is found, 
perhaps, in the doctrine of evolution. The great sweep of this doctrine 



ZOOLOGY AND INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS 357 

makes it one of the greatest acquisitions of human knowledge. There 
has been no point of intellectual vantage reached which is more inspir- 
ing. It is so comprehensive that it enters into all realms of thought. 
Weismann, as you all know one of its great representatives, expresses 
the opinion that "the theory of descent is the most progressive step 
that has been taken in the development of human knowledge " and he 
says further that this position "is justified, it seems to me, even by 
this fact alone : that the evolution idea is not merely a new light on the 
special region of the biological sciences, zoology and botany, but is of 
quite general importance. The conception of an evolution of life upon 
the earth reaches far beyond the bounds of any single science, and in- 
fluences our whole realm of thought." 

Its applications are helping man in the knowledge of himself and 
his destiny. Anything that throws light on man's history and his 
capabilities affects the question of his duty and his destiny. A prom- 
inent theologian (Bishop Creighton, of London) has said: "Religion 
means the knowledge of our destiny and the means of fulfilling it." I 
shall not attempt to qualify the statement, as I am not a theologian, 
but I will point out that progress in zoology has extended the knowledge 
of the history of man, and has thereby influenced our conception of his 
relation to the universe. I think these advances are helpful, and are 
supplying a safer and better basis for our education, our system of 
morals and our religion. For all these matters of so much importance 
must be brought into relation with the state of knowledge at different 
periods of the history of our race. This condition is necessary, it seems 
to me, to men who think, who read or who investigate. 

There is still too often a disposition shown by platform and pulpit 
speakers to qualify, to antagonize and to belittle scientific advances. 
But let us open our hearts freely, without fear, to the extensions of 
truth and let us continue in the belief that the knowledge gained by in- 
vestigation of nature will be helpful to all departments of human en- 
deavor and aspiration. It is to be expected that the views first of the 
scholars and then of the great mass of humanity will be modified and 
will become harmonious with all present and all future advances in 
knowledge. 

The present results of these advances will appeal differently to people 
according to their temperament and experience, but to many scientific 
men, like Darwin and Huxley, as well as to those of smaller place, the 
contemplation of it all is uplifting. We may well be drawn into sym- 
pathy with the great nature psalm and feel the beauty and force of 
those lines of poetry in which all nature is called upon to unite in praise 
of the Ruling Power that directs the forces of the universe. Inanimate 
nature, as well as all that is alive : 

Mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars; beasts and all cattle; 
creeping things and flying fowls; kings of the earth and all people; princes and 
all judges of the earth; both young men and maidens, old men and children. 



35« TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE EMMANUEL MOVEMENT FEOM A MEDICAL 
VIEW-POINT 

By Db. HOMER GAGE 

WOBCESTEB, MASS. 

IN matters pertaining to the preservation of health, and the cure of 
disease, it is a fact of common observation that people in general, 
and educated people in particular, are very apt to seize eagerly upon 
every new theory or practise that is confidently announced as able to 
dispel their ills; and all the more eagerly if, in disregard of science 
and experience, it is strongly flavored with the mystical and miraculous. 

The most remarkable modern instance is the extraordinary growth 
and acceptance of Eddyism, or so-called christian science, and so confi- 
dent are its claims and so long its list of undisputed victories that they 
overshadow, and actually seem to make us forget, the real progress of 
medical science, which continues uninterruptedly, but without any 
such flourish of trumpets and beating of drums. 

Let us remind ourselves for the moment that scientific investiga- 
tion has established the presence in the world of certain poisons, whose 
effects on man have been carefully studied and can be confidently pre- 
dicted, like strychnia, prussic acid, arsenic and opium ; that it has 
furthermore discovered certain other poisons in the animal world, like 
the bacillus of tuberculosis, of anthrax, of cholera, of diphtheria, the 
Plasmodium of malaria and the spirochete of syphilis, equally poison- 
ous to man with the mineral and vegetable poisons, and capable of 
producing equally definite and specific effects. 

It may not have been part of the intent of creation that man 
should be harassed by the latter any more than by the former; but 
the conditions of life and of civilization have made us very vulnerable 
through our appetites. Intended or not, these specific causes of disease 
are here ; and medical science has not only demonstrated their existence, 
but has further proved beyond cavil that by their isolation and exclu- 
sion the diseases which they cause may be limited, and even be pre- 
vented from spreading from person to person. 

Scientific medicine has further shown that the vital parts of our 
bodies are subject to certain degenerative changes induced by exposure, 
by imprudent habits of eating and drinking, by unnatural modes of liv- 
ing, by inheritance, or simply by age itself. Such are the degenera- 
tions of the brain, the heart and blood vessels, the liver, pancreas and 
kidneys; conditions which are accompanied by demonstrable changes 



THE EMMANUEL MOVEMENT 359 

in the structure of these organs, are often progressive in character, and 
usually incapable of repair. 

There is, however, a third class of diseases, which medical science 
has thus far been unable to classify with the infections or the degen- 
erations; nevertheless, very real and very common, to which it has 
applied the term functional disorders. These present no demonstrable 
organic lesion, and very many of them seem to have their origin in 
psychic rather than in physical causes. 

It is from this latter class that the superstition and quackery of all 
ages have largely derived their support. To be sure, science is grad- 
ually invading even this field, and finding a physical basis for condi- 
tions which it has been hitherto unable to classify. 

It is clear, however, to scientific men that there is a large class for 
which no physical basis is likely to be found, which will always be the 
subject of much philosophical speculation and mysticism. Of late, a 
most interesting attempt has been made to employ science, religion and 
hypnotic suggestion, under the guise of psychotherapy, in the study and 
treatment of these cases, and I thought that perhaps it would be inter- 
esting to look for a few moments at the so-called Emmanuel movement 
from a medical viewpoint. 

The underlying principle of mind or faith healing is by no means 
new; it is probably as old as the race. It is the same principle 
that underlay the sacrificial offering of the ancients, and that underlies 
the pilgrimages to Lourdes, and the shrine of St. Anne de Beaupr6. 
One of the earliest analogous movements, to that of which we now 
hear so much, was that of Mesmer in the latter part of the eighteenth 
century. 

" By the discovery of a universal fluid, in which life originates, and 
by which it is preserved, and by the power of regulating the operations 
of this fluid " — he claimed to be able to cure the most intractable dis- 
eases; and although a scientific commission, including our own Ben- 
jamin Franklin, was appointed to investigate his claims, and reported 
that they could find no evidence of any such fluid or special agency 
emanating from him or his baquet, while, if blindfolded, his patients 
proved susceptible to its influence only when they believed that they 
were within its influence, whether they really were or not; still it had 
for many years an astonishing vogue and following. 

In the hands of his pupils animal magnetism, or mesmerism, as it 
was called, was found to l>e capable of producing a state of profound 
insensibility in some individuals and a state akin to somnambulism in 
others. The subjects were made to do all sorts of unnatural things, 
and to endure the severest pain without flinching. A number of surg- 
ical operations were performed upon patients, who were placed under 
its influence, and it was the subject of much medical speculation and 
discussion. 



360 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

But so thoroughly tainted with fraud was it found to be, in the 
extravagant and unwarranted claims of its practitioners, that it soon 
fell into the hands of charlatans and traveling showmen, and thus into 
general discredit. 

It had, however, a great influence in the development of spiritual- 
ism and also of hypnotism, although the latter did not obtain its first 
scientific recognition until many years later, through the work of the 
eminent French neurologist, Charcot. 

This same doctrine of the susceptibility of the individual will to the 
influence of suggestion or authority is the very foundation of christian 
science. It underlies the time-honored and well-nigh universal use of 
the placebo by the medical profession, like the historical brown-bread 
pill of Dr. Jacob Bigelow, and is the curative agent in most of the 
Well-known proprietary medicines. It is reflected in that old French 
saying that medicine sometimes cures, often relieves and always 
comforts. 

Physicians have always made use of it, and especially the now 
much-neglected family doctor. His intimate knowledge of the hered- 
ity, habits, social and domestic life of his patients gave him a peculiar 
advantage in discriminating between their mental and their physical 
ailments; while the confidence, nay, almost reverence with which his 
families regarded him gave an authority to his counsel that was seldom 
questioned. 

" His father was here before him," Mrs. Macfadyen used to ex- 
plain, " atween them, they've had the countyside for weel on tae a cen- 
tury; if MacLure disna understand oor constitutions, wha dis a'wud 
like tae ask ?" 

And this simple faith has given the country doctor his one oppor- 
tunity through all the world, and for many hundreds of years, to 
practise what we now call psychbtherapy. Perhaps he did it uncon- 
sciously and in an amateurish sort of way, as Dr. Cabot says, but he did 
it, is doing it and has done it with great success. 

The use of psychotherapy, or mind cure, in a purely scientific way, 
in the practise of medicine has been tried with conspicuous success for 
many years by Dubois, in Berne, and Bramwell, in England. " Our 
endeavor," says the former, " is to raise up these patients, to give them 
confidence in themselves, and to dissipate their fears and autosugges- 
tions." They do this by making a direct appeal to the patient's reason, 
by trying to train his will, by trying to make the dominating idea of 
his ego one of health and strength, not of weakness. 

Another factor in the development of this new movement is the 
renewed interest in the old command, to love thy neighbor as thyself; 
the awakening of a sense of responsibility of the more fortunate for the 
less fortunate, in the world they both live in. 



THE EMMANUEL MOVEMENT 361 

One of the striking features of our economic development is the 
disappearance of the small community and the small business, with 
the personal interest of each in all, employer and employed; and in its 
place we see the herding together of great masses of people in our 
large cities, each class by itself; the corporation taking the place 
of the individual owner, and the growth of vast business enterprises, 
with its inevitable loss of personal interest and sense of personal 
responsibility. 

The old relation of the physician to his patient has also changed; 
partly because of the growth of the specialties, partly from the growth 
of the hospital and dispensary, where the great number of patients 
makes an investigation into each one's individual circumstances and 
surroundings easier to neglect than to follow up ; but more largely still, 
to that want of intimate acquaintance and the mutual confidence bred 
of intimate acquaintance incident to life in a large community. 

To meet this problem and to help the less fortunate, who, as a class, 
suffer most from this change, we have the growth of settlement work, 
of personal service, the better administration of charities, the getting 
closer to the personal life of the unfortunates, with a better knowledge 
of their trials, hopes and disappointments, giving more advice, counsel, 
sympathy and practical help and less alms. 

We have, of course, a class of nervous invalids, whose condition is 
the result of the strain of business and pleasure ; but another, and much 
larger class, whose condition is due to ignorance, misfortune and 
actual hardship. Hospital men are beginning to recognize that simply 
a thorough physical examination with a prescription for some medicine 
and a few hurried words of advice are not enough; that much of our 
effort and of our hospital endowment has been wasted, because we did 
not know anything about the conditions under which our patients 
lived; did not know whether our advice could be followed or not and, 
even if it could, did not follow them up, see that they understood it 
and that the instructions were carried out. 

To order for one patient a diet that he cannot possibly procure; for the 
next, a vacation that he is too poor to take; to forbid the third to worry, 
when the necessary cause of worry remains unchanged; to give the fourth 
directions for an outdoor life, which you are morally certain he will not 
carry out; to try to teach the fifth (a Jewish mother) how to modify milk 
for her baby, when she understands perhaps half what you say and forgets 
most of that half; — this makes a morning's work not very satisfactory in the 
retrospect to anybody. 

We see at once the necessity of getting back to the old idea of the 
physician, as the friend, adviser and guide of his patients; to a closer 
personal relation between physician and patient, and where, as in a 
large hospital clinic, this is impossible, an organization which, under 
his direction, shall follow his patients to their homes, see what is 

vol. lxxv.— 24. 



362 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

possible to be done in the way of carrying out his instructions, how 
it may be best accomplished, and see that it is accomplished. 

In this line, the work of the social service department of the Massa- 
chusetts General Hospital, under Dr. Cabot's direction, is a conspicuous 
example of how these reforms may be brought about. 

We have referred now to two separate movements; each of which 
has exerted a large influence in the development of this Emmanuel 
movement, so-called. First, the development of a healthy suggestion 
from without or within, with the education of the will, by an appeal 
to reason, and the cultivation of a right attitude toward life and 
especially toward health; and, secondly, the attempt to get closer to 
those who, by ignorance, misfortune, heredity or wrong doing, have 
become victims of distorted ideas about health and disease, and are 
unable to extricate themselves without help. 

These very real, very active movements have appealed to many 
churchmen as offering opportunities in which they could be useful to 
their fellow men ; while, at the same time, they would be extending the 
influence of their church. The first attempt on a large scale and 
with a complete organization to enlist in this service was by Eev. 
Elwood Worcester, of the Emmanuel Church, Boston. 

He began three years ago with a tuberculosis class under the per- 
sonal direction of Dr. J. H. Pratt. " The treatment consisted of the 
approved, modern method of combating consumption, plus discipline, 
friendship, encouragement and hope ; in short, a combination of physical 
and moral elements." It was like a regular hospital clinic under the 
direction and charge of a hospital physician, but having its headquarters 
not at the hospital, but at the church ; and the church cooperated with 
its visitors and helpers. 

The only new thing about it was its connection with the church 
organization and the opportunity thus given immediately to strengthen 
the moral and religious character as well as the physical constitution; 
there was no mysticism, nothing but rational help — and the class was 
very successful. 

So successful was it that Dr. Worcester says : 

It convinced us, that the church has an important mission to perform 
to the sick, and that the physician and the clergyman can work together to 
the benefit of the community. Accordingly, in the autumn of 1906, we deter- 
mined to begin a similar work among the nervously and morally diseased. 

Our single desire is to give each patient the best opportunity of life and 
health which our means allow. We believe in the power of the mind over the 
body, and we believe also in medicine, in good habits, and in a wholesome and 
well-regulated life. 

In the treatment of functional nervous disorders we make free use of 
moral and psychical agencies, but we do not believe in overtaxing these valuable 
aids by expecting the mind to attain results which can be effected more easily 
through physical instrumentalities. Accordingly, we have gladly availed our- 



THE EMMANUEL MOVEMENT 363 

selves of the services of skilled medical and surgical specialists, who have 
offered to cooperate with us. 

All patients are referred to these specialists first, and only those 
found to be suffering from the purely functional nervous disorders are 
admitted to the classes; this is done to avoid the objection that the 
employment of psychotherapy "in diseases which obviously require 
physical interference, may result in death through neglect " ; but espe- 
cially because " disorders of this nature are peculiarly associated with 
the moral life " — and " moral maladies require moral treatment." 

The philosophy of the movement is simple; the fundamental idea 
is the existence in each of us of a subconscious or subliminal mind, 
which is a normal part of our spiritual nature and is responsible for our 
unconscious and automatic movements, thoughts and motives. It is 
this subconscious mind which responds to hypnotic suggestion, after 
the conscious mind has been put to sleep; but even without resort to 
hypnotism, one of the most important characteristics is its suggestibility, 
its subjection to moral influence and direction. 

The functional disorders of the nervous system such as neurasthenia, 
psychasthenia, hysteria, hypochondria and the like, are believed to 
be diseases of the subconscious ; caused by a dissociation of consciousness, 
t. e., by certain portions of consciousness having become detached from 
the main stream. 

By " psychic reeducation, utilization of reserve energy, suggestions 
given in hypnosis or in states of deep abstraction, there follows a re- 
association, a synthesis of the dissociated state, and a return to a state 
of healthy mindedness." And the susceptibility of the subconscious 
mind to suggestion is believed to afford the means of accomplishing 
this. 

How this is actually applied in the clinic will be understood better 
perhaps, if I quote directly from Mr. Powell, one of Dr. Worcester's 
earliest pupils and imitators. 

After the discussion and the prescription of good books the patient is 
seated in the comfortable morris chair before the fire, which I take care by 
this time to have burning low — is taught by rhythmic breathing and by visual 
imagery to relax the muscles, and is led into the silence of the mind by 
tranquil izing suggestion. Then in terms of the spirit, the power of the 
mind over the body is impressed upon the patient's consciousness, and soothing 
suggestions are given for the relief of the specific ills. 

In addition to the clinic at which individual treatments are thus 
given, there is, at Emmanuel Church, a mid-week meeting, at which, 
after singing and Bible reading, requests for prayer are read and 
answered, a short, practical address, applying the teachings of Christ 
to human ills, followed by an hour of social intercourse in the social 
room of the church. For the benefit of the doctors, ministers, social 
workers and others who desired to study the movement, a course of 



364 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

lectures was given last summer extending over three weeks, for which 
a small fee was charged. 

Such is, in brief, the theory of the practise of the Emmanuel 
movement, so-called. It attempts to relieve certain disorders, which 
have a mental or moral origin, by the use of suggestion, reinforced by 
an appeal to the patient's religious faith, and it invokes the aid of 
medical science to eliminate those disorders which have a purely physical 
organic basis. Except for this appeal for the help of science and the 
recognition of science which it contains, there is absolutely nothing in 
the movement that is new. 

In the first place, these so-called functional diseases do really exist ; 
although it is true that the class has been growing constantly smaller 
under the influence of scientific investigation and discovery. Still, it 
is also true, now, as in the middle of the eighteenth century when 
Dr. John Atkins wrote, that "many distempers, especially of women 
that are ill all over, or know not what they ail, have been cured, I am 
apt to think, more by a fancy to the physician than his prescription." 

Every doctor is familiar with the patient whose physical ailments 
are quite insignificant when compared with the exaggerated importance 
with which his mind or imagination has invested them. Every medical 
man recognizes how little physical basis there is for the worry, fear, 
doubt and melancholy with which so many of his patients are obsessed. 
We all appreciate how often that symptom-complex, which goes to make 
up what we call the neurotic temperament, is found in cases in which 
the most rigid physical examination fails to reveal any indication of 
organic disease. 

In this class we find kindred conditions, which have at different 
times borne a great variety of names, such as nervous prostration, 
neurasthenia, psychasthenia, hysteria, hypochondria, or melancholia, 
while in other cases we are content with the simpler definition of dis- 
turbed mental equilibrium or deviation. 

It seems impossible to classify these cases accurately, because there 
is no really scientific basis upon which a classification can be made; 
and the invention of new names to define certain types is not as 
important or as progressive as it seems. 

In speaking of these names, Dubois says : " The name neurasthenia 
is on everybody's lips; it is the fashionable disease. But I am mis- 
taken, the disease is not new, it is the name by which it is known 
that is changed. We now designate by this name, a combination of 
symptoms known through all time." What we must not lose sight of 
is that there are diseases of the mind, or imagination, or nervous 
system, in which no physical deviation from the normal can be found, 
but which are none the less real, none the less distressing, and that they 
tax the skill, resources and patience of the attending physician almost 
to the breaking point. 



THE EMMANUEL MOVEMENT 365 

Furthermore, it must be observed that these are the cases in which 
psychotherapy, whether practised by means of the placebo, or through 
the agency of christian science, or the Emmanuel movement, is pre- 
eminently successful. 

In the second place, if we study carefully the causes of these condi- 
tions, we shall find them in the two great classes into which Charcot 
has divided them. " The neuroses," he says, " arise from two factors, 
the one essential and invariable, neuropathic heredity; the other, con- 
tingent and polymorphic, the provoking agent." 

In the latter belong our doubts and fears and worries, as well as the 
other more easily controlled factors in the causation of these purely 
functional nervous disorders. But even in the case of heredity, it is 
more the unstable nervous equilibrium that is transmitted than the 
specific form in which it is manifested in any individual case ; and this 
unstable equilibrium is capable, in no small degree, of being influenced 
by reeducation along the lines of which we have been speaking. 

" In neurasthenia," says Dubois, " we find general debility ; some- 
times it is physical, sometimes intellectual, but above all it is moral." 
In other words, it is a wrong view-point, a weakness of the will power 
of the individual, an inability to throw off the unduly insistent habit, 
or thought, or motive. 

In a few words, Carpenter explains the long list of epidemic 
delusions of history, the form of which has changed from time to 
time, although many of their characteristics have been common to all ; 
such as mesmerism, magnetism, spiritualism and the like, by saying 
that " The condition which underlies them all is the subjection of the 
mind to a dominant idea." 

The trouble is that in the case of these delusions, as well as in the 
case of the neurasthenic, the dominant idea is pointed in the wrong 
direction; and the Emmanuel movement simply aims by a process of 
reeducation through suggestion, autosuggestion or, if necessary, hypno- 
tism, to change this direction. 

In the treatment of these cases of functional disorder of the nervous 
system, doctors, psychologists and Emmanuelists, all agree in attempting 
to continue the subjection of the mind to a dominant idea; but try, 
each in his own way, to make that idea stand for health, for right living 
and right thinking, for cheerfulness, in a word, so to direct it that it 
shall always look for the doughnut, not the hole. 

But, while agreeing thus far, a fundamental difference of opinion 
is disclosed, as soon as we take up the question as to by whom this work 
can best be done ; by the doctor or by the clergyman. The lines, how- 
ever, are not strictly drawn between the two professions, because some 
medical men see no impropriety in asking and encouraging the assist- 
ance of the church, while many churchmen deprecate the entrance 



366 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

of the church, as an organized body, into new and untried and disputed 
fields of activity. 

One thing should be clear at the outset, and it is emphatically set 
forth in the introduction to Dr. Worcester's book. 

The church should not undertake this work without the cooperation 
and assistance of the best possible medical advisers. It is a scientific 
work, based on the knowledge derived from the study of medicine and 
psychology, and its favorable results are not miracles, to be exploited 
for the glory of religion. They can be obtained only in cases in 
which no organic pathology is found to exist, in cases carefully selected, 
after rigid and strictly scientific examinations. 

Remember that the goal is reeducation into right habits of thinking 
and living; and in this process of reeducation, judged by their results, 
there is little to choose, between the efficiency of the agnostic Dubois 
and the ecclesiastical Worcester. 

That this process of reeducation can not be accomplished by hypnotic 
suggestion is the firm belief of the medical profession, especially the 
neurologists. That a state of hypnotic susceptibility can be induced in 
most people by a will that is stronger than their own is not doubted; 
but that it is safe, or that its results justify its use as a therapeutic 
measure, is stoutly denied. 

Hypnotism has been known since Braid in 1842, and every now and 
then it rises up on a new wave of interest and popularity, often in a 
new guise ; but so far as its therapeutic value is concerned, we have as 
yet derived from it no safe practical assistance. 

If not by hypnotism, then how shall we seek to accomplish this re- 
education — shall it be by an appeal to reason, or to faith? Unless by 
faith is meant religious faith, it has been and will always be done by 
medical men, acting through both agencies; by strong men, confident 
in their own powers, and able to impress others with the same confidence 
and faith in the truth, sincerity and accuracy of their opinions. 

Examples of this use of psycho-therapeutics have been common 
enough in the practise of every successful physician. That he has been 
working at an increasing disadvantage is probably true; due partly to 
the growth of specialism, and also to the complexity of modern life, 
which, as has been already indicated, means the loss of that personal 
relation and sympathy between patient and physician which used to 
be common; but to an even greater extent is this disadvantage the 
result of the extraordinary development of the more material and 
scientific side of disease. 

For example, Dr. Cabot complains, and with too much reason, that 
the psychological side of tuberculosis has been largely disregarded. 
" We have tried to have our patients live almost by bread alone — actually 
by milk and eggs alone, in some cases. 



THE EMMANUEL MOVEMENT 367 

The effect of idleness upon the will, of a discouraging and unlovely health 
resort on the spirits, of an empty outlook for the future — all these have been 
largely disregarded. Put him in the open air, and fatten him up, we say, — 
so far, so good. But he has a mind, as well as a body; a future, as well as a 
present — and neither element can be neglected." 

Then, too, the study of the treatment and means of prevention of 
the infections and degenerations, and the brilliancy of its results, have 
tended to make us impatient with the less prompt response of the 
neurotic. We medical men have been tempted to speak sternly, as did 
the King in Alice in Wonderland, who told the poor hatter, who was 
trembling before the throne : " Don't be nervous, or I'll have you exe- 
cuted on the spot." So we have been tempted to say to the unduly 
nervous patient : " You are not sick ; don't be nervous, or you'll make 
yourself sick " — good advice, but, like much that we have to listen to, 
badly given. 

We must look deeper into the causes of the nervousness, and suggest 
something to take their place. The profession is already awakening 
to this defect in its practise, and one of the benefits of christian science 
and the later movement is the stimulus which it has given the medical 
profession, to take up again, in its new light, a work which it always 
used to do, and which still is a part of its duty; a part of its very 
raison d'etre. 

A recent editorial in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal says: 

That the profession at large needs instruction in the practise of psycho- 
therapy we are willing to admit; we believe that such instruction should be 
given at medical schools, to the end that the limitations as well as the possi- 
bilities of mental treatment should be laid down, so far as our present knowl- 
edge permits. 

The University of Wisconsin has already established a chair of 
psychology and medicine; the Phipps fund of $500,000 will soon be 
available for a similar course in the Johns Hopkins University, and 
Dr. Morton Prince offers a course in psychotherapy this winter at the 
Tufts Medical School. In the great field of hospital and dispensary 
practise much has been accomplished in the same direction by the 
introduction of the social-service department, as at the Johns Hopkins, 
the New York Post-graduate and the Massachusetts General Hospitals. 

From these considerations I think there can be no doubt but that 
the doctor has, can and ought to do this work; the next question is, 
in how far it can and ought to be done by the church. We all agree 
that the underlying causes in very many of these functional nervous 
disorders are moral causes. We all recognize the strong religious side 
in human nature. We have all seen in our own experience, or that of 
some of our friends, the peace and % satisfaction of mind to be derived 
from a strong religious faith. 

It is a powerful force for the uplifting of man, mentally and morally. 



368 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

This appeal to religious faith is, however, but one of our means of 
reaching nervous invalids; it is not always the most promising, nor is 
it always applicable; but it is the only one which affords any excuse 
for the entrance of the church into the fields of psychotherapy. 

If, as has been said by one of its stoutest medical defenders, the 
aim of the Emmanuel Church work is only " to educate the religious 
faith, and to train the moral capacities of nervous invalids, sent to 
it by the physicians of the community for that very purpose," there 
would be much less room for criticism. The work would then be 
done in the same quiet, unobtrusive way that the medical profession 
believes that all such work should be done. 

But when it comes to lecturing weekly, to hundreds of laymen and 
women at the church, and to going about from city to city explaining 
to lay audiences the nature of the work and encouraging imitation, 
as is being done by the projectors of this Emmanual idea, the medical 
profession at large views with alarm the superficial manner in which 
a complex medical problem is presented, and sees in it strong elements 
of quackery and charlatanism, and the danger of great harm from 
its practise. 

Education of the reason and strengthening of the will would seem 
to be more promising means of securing a nervous equilibrium than 
an appeal to the emotions. Even though this work has been, and is 
being done by the general practitioner, as we have already seen, it is 
probably true that in many cases, at least, it is a work in which he 
would welcome the assistance and advice of a specialist. But how 
much better fitted to give that help is the expert in diseases of the brain 
and nervous system who has studied psychology, than he who has 
studied psychology alone, or taken it up as a side issue to his study 
of theology and of church administration. 

On this point there would seem to be little chance for disagreement. 
The safest counselor in all medical matters is he who has first grounded 
himself in normal and abnormal anatomy, in normal and pathological 
physiology and in the theory and practise of medicine as a whole, and 
then upon this foundation has made a thorough and exhaustive study 
of his special department; not the man who has followed a post- 
graduate course of lectures for a few weeks, or even months, nor the 
man whose psychological study has been incidental to his ecclesiastical 
training. 

To quote again from the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal: 

The only knowledge which is of value in the field of abnormal psychology 
and mental therapeutics has been gained from the laborious investigations of 
psychologists and physicians. This, all are free to use; but that its use is best 
safeguarded, and likely to be productive of the best results, in the hands of 
men with a general medical training will not generally be denied. 



THE EMMANUEL MOVEMENT 369 

In sympathy with this feeling the best medical opinion is already 
alienated, and.it is apparent that the movement must get along without 
the very cooperation upon which its originators laid such emphasis; 
yet it is doubtful if they will recognize this, for they seem disposed 
to show the same lack of discrimination in the selection of their medical 
authorities that is manifested by the opponents of vivisection. 

It ill becomes a medical man to undertake to say what the effect 
of this movement may be on the church itself. It is entering a field 
that has always been occupied by medical men in an empirical way; 
and with the advancing knowledge of psychology and psychotherapy, 
they have demonstrated their ability and willingness successfully to 
cultivate it, wholly independent of church and religion. It is cer- 
tainly not desirable that this independence should be too complete; but 
neither is it at all desirable, for the reasons above given, that the 
medical and scientific part of the work should be incidental and sec- 
ondary to the religious. 

The point which Dr. Worcester seems to me to miss is this: That 
these disorders, though not accompanied by any structural lesion, are, 
nevertheless, deviations from the normal brain function, and, as such, 
are to be studied and treated by those who have a thorough knowledge 
of the normal anatomy and physiology, and the pathological anatomy 
and physiology of the brain; and that the assistance of religion in 
this work, great and invaluable as that often is, should be strictly 
subordinate, just as it is subordinate, though very helpful and often 
necessary, in the conduct of the tuberculosis clinic, in his own church. 
It is difficult to see where the church has any material advantage 
in the competition, and as the movement spreads into the hands of 
those with few qualifications and with greater independence of sound 
medical counsel, it seems not unreasonable to predict its ultimate 
failure and general discredit. 

However, the Emmanuel movement has done good, just as the 
popular interest in hypnotism and christian science has done good. 
They emphasize and make clear the value of mental therapeutics, and 
spur the doctor and psychologist to renewed study of its nature, 
limitations and practical application. It will also serve, perhaps, to 
recall the practising physician from too cold a materialism; and to 
prevent a dehumanized scientist from taking the place of the doctor 
of the old school. 

It is undoubtedly true that there has been a strong tendency to 
give undue attention and attribute undue importance to the interesting 
pathological problem presented in each case, and too little attention 
to its humanitarian aspect. We must not let the scientist push to one 
side the Samaritan. Such is the lesson to be learned — more real human 
sympathy and help from the doctor, but not a " medicalized clergy." 



370 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION OF NORTH AMERICA 
BY spencer trotter 

SWABTHMOBH COLLEGE 

A Study op Influences 



RATZEL in his illuminating work on " The History of Mankind," 
remarking upon the influence of the ocean on the life of primi- 
tive peoples, says: 

The wide gap which the Atlantic Ocean opens in the zone of habitation 
has the effect of producing " fringe "-lands. Although a brisk intercourse 
from north to south, together with thickly -peopled regions at the back, and more 
favorable climates, have rendered these far less ethnographically destitute than 
the regions towards the poles, we still find that in Africa the highest develop- 
ment has been reached on the east coast, in America on the west, that is, on 
the inner sides or those farthest from the Atlantic. 

In contrast with this " gap in the belt of human habitation " the 
island-dotted Pacific, with its narrowing shore lines to the north, is a 
habitable area. Its island clusters have ever been the homes of men, 
and its watery waste the highway of primitive navigators. Dwellers on 
the fringe-lands of the continents looked out upon the Atlantic as 
upon a great void, and it was not until the first thousand years of the 
present era had passed that Scandinavian peoples penetrated its 
gloomy mists and founded colonies in Iceland and the Faroes. This 
movement of the Northmen was an expression of that migratory im- 
pulse that earlier had brought the rude peoples of Europe to the con- 
fines of the land. Five hundred years passed before the " wide gap " 
was again crossed. 

Such a forbidding "fringe," on the farther verge of the known 
world, was the landfall of the first voyagers, who, steering westward, 
solved the mystery of the western ocean. In their wake followed suc- 
cessive waves of migrating peoples from the shores of Europe, who 
sought to found colonies on these strange coasts. Whatever fanciful 
Eldorados they may have pictured were rudely dispelled by the wild 
solitudes of an unknown forest that, sphinx-like, stretched its front 
along the indented coast from the St. Lawrence to Florida. Between 
these peoples and the world of civilization lay the dissociating Atlantic. 
Once landed, they had set foot on the threshold of a new home. To the 
natural features of this threshold — forest, mountain, river, shore-line 
and climate — and its aboriginal life, we must look for those influences 
that went so largely to the making of a new type of civilized men. 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 371 

II 

The natural condition of eastern North America is that of a forest- 
covered land. Wherever the primeval woodland has been cleared there 
springs up, unless thwarted by persistent tillage, a sturdy "second 
growth" which in time, and if allowed to spread, would restore the 
face of the country to something of its former appearance. We 
are familiar enough with such tracts, abandoned by men as unprofitable 
for cultivation and left to the genial influence of birds and winds and 
the chemistry of humus soils — nature's way of getting back to original 
conditions. These delectable places are the "woods," scattered in 
patches of greater or less extent throughout the farming districts, cov- 
ering the slopes of hills and the windings of valley streams — places of 
little value in the economic eye save for a few cords of firewood or as a 
trifling source of timber, but rich withal in youthful associations. 

The primitive Atlantic forest was, for a space of three hundred 
years after the discovery, a dominant feature in the history of the 
country. For a long period its impenetrable solitudes limited the 
spread of settlement to a narrow seaboard margin; only the more in- 
trepid of the newcomers plunged into its depths to meet with strange 
adventures. The valleys of the larger rivers formed natural highways 
into the interior of this forest region and the broad tracts of rich 
bottom-land gradually became, in favorable situations, the sites of 
settlement, widely scattered at first, but advancing farther and farther 
inland as population increased. 

It is hard for us, dwelling in the long-settled land, to appreciate 
the attitude of the early colonists toward the forest. Fear mingled 
with curiosity was undoubtedly the chief state of mind of the first 
comers. Clearing the land had a twofold purpose — for planting 
("plantation" was the word used in all early writings concerning the 
colonies) and to satisfy a feeling of domesticity that was ingrained 
in the European mind — an inherited instinct to civilize. To these 
people the forest was a dreadful reality (some early writers speak of 
it as a "Desert"), full of unknown terrors, and, especially to the 
Puritan and Jesuit, a haunt of the Powers of Darkness. On the 
whole the French settlers took more kindly to the forest than did the 
Anglo-Saxon peoples, who from the outset evinced a ruthless determina- 
tion to clear the land. The ancient wood steadily receded, slowly at 
first, then rapidly as the planted country widened its borders, forest 
everywhere giving way to field, and with it vanished much that was 
aboriginal. 

Ill 

"Pine-tree State" and "Pine-tree Shilling" were terms of no 
empty meaning in the region where they originated. In northern 
New England the white pine is still the most characteristic tree over 
wide areas of unimproved land, and a well-defined "pine belt" reaches 



372 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

from the coast westward to beyond the Great Lakes. A goodly number 
of other trees mingle with the pines in this northern portion of the 
Atlantic forest — basswood, elm, birch, sugar maple and ash among the 
broad-leaved species, and the black spruce, hemlock and cedar among 
conifers, but the pine everywhere gives the broadest and most pro- 
nounced feature to the woodland. This northern pine forest follows 
the highest ridges of the Alleghanies quite to their southern limits, 
conspicuous in the mountain landscape as an evergreen belt — the hem- 
lock (or what is left of its once grand forests after the axe of the 
lumberman and " bark-peeler ") predominating in certain districts. 

Somewhere in the mid-New England region, and in New York 
along the watershed of the St. Lawrence, one who travels with an eye 
for trees will notice the ever-increasing number and variety of broad- 
leaved species toward the south. Among the scattered pines appears 
the massy leafage of oaks, hickories, chestnuts, beeches and other hard- 
woods, which denotes a borderland in tree life — the northern edge 
of that vast deciduous forest the summer canopy of which, in aboriginal 
times, covered the Ohio and Mississippi basins and the Piedmont land 
of the Atlantic seaboard to beyond the valley of the Delaware. Even 
to-day there are wide areas still covered by remnants of this magnificent 
interior forest of the continent. And what a wealth of species ! No- 
where in the temperate zone may we find such an assemblage of splendid 
tree forms save possibly in eastern Asia. The tall tulip tree with its 
gorgeous blossoms and broad leaves of shining green; the array of 
magnolias, rivaled in beauty and variety only in the Chinese region; 
the gums (both tupelos and liquidambar) ; the flowering dogwood ; the 
buckeyes, locusts, catalpas, beeches, plane trees, chestnuts, ashes, elms, 
cherries, a great variety of hawthorns, the hackberry, persimmon and 
sassafras; the hickories, walnuts and butternuts; the basswood, maple 
and sourwood; the hornbeams, and upwards of twenty species of oaks, 
not to mention a host of other less familiar trees and underwoods. 
This is the forest that nature would spread over the land again should 
the white man cease in his toilsome civilization. Those of us born 
with a love for the woods can only regret the loss and cling the more 
tenaciously to every woodland tract that happily we may still have the 
right to protect. 

On the coast plain of the southern Atlantic region another form of 
tree-life gives character to the forest. Here the long-leaf pine and 
other allied species find a congenial home, the monotonous "piney 
woods" covering wide tracts of level, sandy country. JFrom the 
earliest times tar and turpentine have given local color to the commerce 
of the region where this pine abounds. In low-lying swamp districts 
and along river shores the bald cypress, with its curious " knees " lifted 
above the submerging flood, is a conspicuous tree in the landscape and 
entirely peculiar to this Atlantic coast region. 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 373 

The existence of a forest on the Atlantic side of North America 
is a result of several natural conditions, chief among which is a copious 
rainfall. The average yearly precipitation east of the Mississippi 
Valley amounts to some fifty or sixty inches, increasing towards the 
coast and the Gulf border. This insures an abundant water supply 
in the subsoil — the stratum into which the roots of forest trees delve 
in their search for moisture. Soils, too, play their part in the foresting 
of a land. An underlying layer of clay holds the water, which collects 
above it in the permeable sands and loam of the subsoil where the tree 
roots interlace in a vast network. The varied nature of soils over 
wide regions determines, within certain limits of temperature, the 
character of tree growth. This explains in part the preponderance 
of pines on a sandy soil where the water passes more or less rapidly 
through the root area. Pines are physiologically dry trees as com- 
pared with the broad-leaved, deciduous species ; their tough and narrow 
needle-like leaves do not so readily favor the transpiration process — 
the freeing of the water which has ascended through their vessels from 
the roots. What ground water enters the transpiration current is, 
therefore, not too easily lost to the tree through its leaves. The case 
of the broad-leaved trees is different, for their roots tap soils more or 
less constantly moist and the ascending transpiration current is quickly 
relieved by the broad expanse of leafage which they present to the air. 

Temperature is unquestionably the controlling feature in the north- 
ward and southward distribution of trees. Along the Atlantic sea- 
board the effective temperatures in tree dispersal are related, in a 
general way, to the " lay of the land." In the same latitude various 
species belonging to a more northern habitat appear in the highland 
districts, while many southern forms are more or less abundant in the 
lowlands. Along its inland border the coastal plain, in many places, 
ends in a low rise of land, or " upland terrace," from the top of which 
one sees the flat expanse of the plain over many miles. Back of the 
observer lies the rolling country of the Piedmont district (the "up- 
lands" of the early settlers and farming people), a landscape of hills 
and valleys stretching away to the eastern border of the Blue Ridge. 
South of the valley of the Delaware this terrace feature marks, in a 
very general way, the limits of certain northern and southern trees. 
The sweet gum or liquidambar of the southern region is abundant on 
the coastal plain in southeastern Pennsylvania, but is of rare occur- 
rence on the uplands. The sheltered nature and rich alluvial soils 
of river bottoms extend the ranges of some of the more southern trees 
beyond this limit, and the same sweet gum is found growing in the 
valley of the Connecticut. In like manner the valleys of the Hudson, 
the Delaware and the Susquehanna are each tinged with a more south- 
ern tree life than are the surrounding uplands along their course. 
As a reverse of this picture, certain trees of a more northerly distribu- 



374 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

tion, like the hemlock, are found growing along the higher land and in 
cool ravines as far south as the Lower Delaware Valley. 

The more familiar trees, however, mingle over a wide area of 
country — southern New England and the Middle Atlantic district — 
a transition region that lies between the northern coniferous forest 
and the broad-leaved, summer-green forest of the great interior valley 
and south Atlantic slope. 

Something besides temperature appears to control the distribution 
of certain trees. Since the settlement of the country numerous species, 
the natural habitats of which are far to the south, have been planted 
and grown successfully in more northern localities. The catalpa, the 
sourwood and the several species of magnolia are illustrations of this. 
Just what is the determining factor in preventing such trees from 
spreading northward (or others from spreading southward) it is diffi- 
cult to say. Possibly some subtle condition in the balance of nature 
— some item in the struggle for existence, has helped or hindered the 
spread of certain trees, excluding some from localities already occupied 
by others. It is well known that where pines have been cut off certain 
species of oaks will spring up and occupy the land. The oak seedlings 
must have been abundantly scattered over the soil for a long period 
of time. Only a comparatively few species are enabled to hold their 
own through some superior advantage in adaptation and grow up to 
form a forest. A vast number must of necessity lie dormant in the 
soil for centuries. In Denmark, since glacial times, there has evidently 
been a succession of forests — oak following fir and beech following 
oak through a period of many thousands of years. The varied relations 
of the different species of trees to light, heat, moisture and soils, to 
animals, and to other trees and plants, are involved in slow, deep-seated 
processes, the expression of which is the forest as we see it. Our point 
of view, however, is but momentary in the vast events of nature — a 
fleeting glimpse, merely, of one picture in an endless biograph. 

The question of the succession of forests suggests another question 
— that of the origin of the present Atlantic forest and its relation to 
other forests in different parts of the world. In a general survey of 
the forest trees of eastern North America there appears a large number 
of types which are common also to Europe. With the exception of 
the bald cypress and the hemlocks all the other coniferous types — pines, 
spruces, firs and larches — are represented in Europe by closely allied 
species. This is true also of a number of the deciduous trees — the 
oak, beech, chestnut, elm, willow, birch, aspen, walnut, ash, maple, 
plane tree, linden or basswood, and others are represented on both sides 
of the Atlantic by more or less nearly related forms. This is not sur- 
prising when we come to consider that all of the above-named trees 
are decidedly northern in their distribution, and exist under very 
similar climatic conditions. This is especially true of the coniferous 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 375 

trees and the birches which form a characteristic boreal forest zone 
of similar features throughout the entire land area of the cold tem- 
perate region from Kamschatka to Alaska. Farther south, as the 
land masses diverge, the forest types show a decreasing likeness — yet 
the broad-leaved woodlands of oak, beech and others are readily rec- 
ognized as such in both the old and the new worlds. 

A number of American trees, however, and these characteristic of 
the more southern portion of the Atlantic forest, have no European 
counterparts. We look in vain through the forests of Europe for 
such familiar forms as the hemlock, the hickories, the tulip tree, the 
magnolias, the sassafras, the tupelo gums, the witchhazel, the Ken- 
tucky coffee tree, the yellow-wood, the locusts, the catalpa and the 
liquidambar. Strange as it may appear, nearly all of these eastern 
American forms occur nowhere else in the world save in eastern Asia, 
in the more temperate parts of China and Japan, where the same or 
very nearly related species are to be found. What is even still more 
striking is the contrast between the Atlantic and Pacific sides of 
North America. Excepting along the mountain crests where the more 
or less world-wide boreal plants find a congenial environment, the 
vegetation of the California region is related mainly to the dry 
plateau lands of Mexico and South America. So far as the trees are 
concerned a native of the eastern United States would find himself 
in much more homelike surroundings in the woodlands of temperate 
China and Japan than on the Pacific slope of his own country. A 
tulip tree, very similar to the one at home, almost if not the identical 
species of sassafras, numerous closely related magnolias, a near relative 
of the southern yellow-wood, the liquidambar, the catalpa, the coffee 
tree, the hemlock, and other forms appear as familiar trees in the 
landscape of China and Japan. This likeness between the two widely 
separated regions is not confined to the trees alone. The flora at large 
presents many features in common. The fox grape, the poison ivy, 
the hydrangeas, the wistaria, the blue cohosh, the may-apple, the twin- 
leaf, the trailing arbutus or may-flower, and the creeping snowberry 
have each a more or less closely related form in eastern North America 
and eastern Asia, but are found in no other part of the world. 

This likeness between the forest types of eastern North America 
and eastern Asia dates from a period far back in the history of north- 
ern lands. The tertiary deposits of Greenland and Spitzbergen have 
yielded numerous fossil remains of trees, among them a magnolia, a 
tulip tree, a sassafras and a liquidambar, quite similar, if not, in some 
cases, identical with the species now living. Besides these forms that 
are peculiar to the regions above named, the remains of other trees of 
more wide-spread distribution have been found in Greenland — a bass- 
wood, a plane tree, a persimmon, also several kinds of beeches, birches, 



376 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

poplars and oaks — all of which are nearly related to the modern types. 1 
This ancient circumpolar forest flourished at a time when the 
climate of the Arctic regions was almost warm temperate in its char- 
acter and capable of supporting a rich and varied tree-life throughout 
an immensely long period of time. Toward the close of this period 
the increasing cold which culminated in a glacial epoch caused a 
gradual change in the forest conditions. The more northerly portion 
of this wide-spread forest was not able to survive the change, its species 
were forced out of the region, finding more suitable conditions in lands 
farther to the south, where some, undoubtedly, had already established 
themselves. A large number of species, like the oaks and beeches and 
some of the conifers easily adapted themselves to a varied environment 
and spread widely around the north temperate zone. Others, how- 
ever, found suitable conditions of life only in certain localities, often 
widely apart, but with similar climatic features. Here we have a 
solution of the similarity of tree forms in forests so widely separated 
geographically as those of eastern North America and eastern Asia. 
In every other portion of the wide region into which the trees of this 
polar forest migrated a certain number of species failed to occupy the 
soil through some adverse conditions in climate or life relations. Cut 
off from their center of development in the polar area, they spread to 
the south, but only in two localities did they succeed in establishing 
themselves — on the eastern side of the two great northern land masses, 
where almost similar climatic influences prevail. 

It is of more than passing interest to thus trace back the history 
of our forests. As with men so with trees. Countless generations 
succeed one another, occupying the soil in which the remains of older 
generations lie buried, each new generation springing from the one 
before it and bearing the marks of an inheritance that allies its indi- 
vidual members with other men and trees in far distant lands, and that 
carries them back through a seemingly endless chain of life to a remote 
antiquity. 

With the retreat of the ice at the close of the last glacial epoch, 
and the gradual assumption of the present climate and physical features 
of eastern North America, the more hardy coniferous trees, and some 
of the broad-leaved species that had adapted themselves to low tempera- 
tures along the edge of the ice sheet, began to occupy the newly uncov- 
ered land as a northern belt of pine forest. This expansion of tree 
life toward the north must have relieved the long overcrowded southern 
area and permitted a fuller development of the summer-green, broad- 
leaved forest with its great variety of forms. The deciduous habit of 
this summer-green forest is clearly an adaptation to a low winter 

1 " The Relations of North American to North East Asian and Tertiary 
Vegetation" — being portion of an address by Dr. Asa Gray, published as 
Article V. in " Darwiniana." 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 377 

temperature, the falling away of the leaves temporarily drying out the 
tree by checking the transpiration current and thus preventing the 
disastrous effects of freezing. Along the warmer Gulf borders certain 
deciduous types, as the live oaks, have either never acquired the habit 
or have lost it since glacial times. 

IV 

A glamour of romance brooded over this forest land and cast its 
spell on the mind of western Europe. From Raleigh, dreaming of 
colonies beyond the sea, down to the days of the great exodus of Euro- 
pean peoples there was a pervading sense of wonder concerning the new 
country. History has dealt at length with the motives that prompted 
whole bodies of people to leave a long-familiar and civilized homeland 
for an unknown and untried wilderness. No matter what the varied 
motives may have been — whether from religious or political oppression, 
or for the betterment of home and fortune — each and all were expres- 
sions of that migratory impulse that from a remote period had been 
working out the destiny of the race. 

The English stock that colonized the Atlantic slope of North 
America was made up of two strains of blood that had mingled to some 
extent in the mother country, but which was destined to a far wider 
and more complete fusion in the new world. From an ethnological 
point of view the Welsh, the Irish and the Highland Scot or Gael have 
come to be regarded as the modern representatives of an ancient Celtic 
people that once occupied Britain and that were driven into remote 
corners of the land by the invading Angle and his allies. As applied 
to this people and its speech and literature the word "Celtic" has 
come to stand for a certain kind of temperament — imaginative and 
emotional in its nature, poetic and inclined to mysticism, a man on 
the edge of things, elated or cast down, and capable of great bursts of 
energy. The reverse of this picture is called up by the word " Teu- 
tonic " — the opposite strain of blood that has mingled so largely with 
the Celtic element in the moulding of an American type. In point 
of fact the Teutonic is the dominant strain in most of us to-day; the 
Celtic being more of a local infusion here and there, like the occasional 
brook flowing into the main stream of a river. The New England 
Puritans were almost wholly English Teutons and the same was true 
of the Virginia colonists. The Teutonic Swede and Hollander held 
for a time the middle region — the Hudson and the lower valley of the 
Delaware — and left an infusion of their blood in the dominant English 
population which may still be traced in certain family names. The 
Quakers that settled Pennsylvania were, like the Puritans, of Teutonic 
English stock. The Scotch-Irish peoples, likewise largely Teutonic, 
settled the Carolina seaboard. The main German migration spread 
through the middle region — in the Delaware and Susquehanna water- 



378 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

sheds — and together with the Scotch-Irish settled the frontier valleys of 
the Blue Ridge. These were the peoples — Teutonic with a Celtic in- 
fusion — that traversed the wide gap of the Atlantic and planted a 
civilization on its farther fringe. 

It was what these people brought with them, as qualities of mind, 
traditions and habits of life, and the way they looked at things, that 
interest us most. There could be no adaptation to a wilderness life 
like that of the aboriginal inhabitants of this fringe-land. Here were 
men and women, the product of centuries of civilization, suddenly 
confronted with the bare fact of existence on the edge of an inhospitable 
and unknown forest. This transit of civilized peoples is one of the 
amazing events of history. Tillers of the land for generations, they 
brought with them the old-world grains and food plants, their house- 
hold goods, farm implements and cattle, and with these a bundle of 
curious ideas and superstitions which had a deep and widespread root- 
age in the ancestral soil of Europe. The forest held nothing for them 
save fuel and material for shelter. Fish, flesh and fowl were to be had 
in abundance, but of the wild food-plants that were indigenous to the 
soil and which the native peoples had used for ages these immigrants 
from civilization knew little or nothing. Dependent from a remote 
antiquity upon agriculture, it is scarcely to be wondered at that the 
first comers to the new land were at times sorely put to it for food, 
as the early records relate. 

The effect of this fringe-land upon its native inhabitants was ap- 
parent in the low state of their culture. The aboriginal Atlantic tribes 
were unacquainted with the use of iron, which, as Ratzel has remarked, 
is a characteristic of all fringe-land peoples. Their agriculture was of 
the rudest sort — the planting of maize, squashes and tobacco, with little 
or no tillage, hunting and fishing producing their chief food supply. 
The very primitive condition of these Indian peoples was further 
evinced by such customs as mother-right and other ancient forms of 
the social state. The Atlantic fringe-land as a whole was thinly 
populated. Where many millions of Europeans now dwell on a sound 
basis of agriculture, the aboriginal population seemed barely able to 
hold its own, living as it were from hand to mouth. This failure to 
advance culturally and increase numerically through intelligent use 
of the soil is the underlying fact in all backward peoples, and their 
backwardness is, in large measure, the result of environment. Un- 
doubtedly one of the factors in this environment is isolation, through 
many generations, in a forest region, though we must also remember 
those inherent racial traits that tend to depress whole bodies of people, 
relegating them to the less desirable regions— overwhelming forests, 
unfertile tracts and fringe-lands. A non-agricultural people can not 
wrest a civilization out of the wilderness. It can only be accom- 
plished by agricultural peoples with a well developed instinct to clear 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 379 

the land. The forest and the ocean set limitations to the aboriginal 
American. The Atlantic once crossed by the agricultural Europeans, 
though it served to hold them to their new home, became their highway 
of communication with the world. To them it was no longer " a gap 
in the belt of human habitation." 

The Teutonic blood evinced its trait of dogged persistence in the 
settlement of the land. Acre after acre of the primeval woodland 
was cleared and planted. Of the species indigenous to the new country 
only maize and tobacco became rivals of the old-world culture plants. 
We can picture to ourselves the rude farm lands of the first period of 
settlement, with stumps scattered through the fields, charred and 
blackened in many places by the firing of the fallen growth, with the 
maize and the English grain springing up; the kitchen-garden of old- 
world vegetables and herbs; the dooryard blooms — wallflower, daffodil, 
marigold, larkspur, and other sweet, homely flowers brought from 
across the sea; the young orchards with their seedling fruit trees or 
newly set-out transplantings of peach, apple, plum and pear. Most 
of the houses at this period were built of rough-hewn logs or sawed 
planks, while some of the more pretentious were of stone or brick. 
Peter Kalm, the Swedish traveler, has left us a picture of the country- 
side about the Delaware in the middle of the eighteenth century, after 
three quarters of a century of settlement. Speaking of the farms 
near Philadelphia, he says in one place : 

As we went on in the wood, we continually saw at moderate distances little 
fields, which had been cleared of the wood. Each of these was a farm. These 
farms were commonly very pretty, and a walk of trees frequently led from them 
to the highroad. The houses were all built of brick, or of the stone which is 
here everywhere to be met with. Every countryman, even though he were the 
poorest peasant, had an orchard with apples, peaches, chestnuts, walnuts, 
cherries, quinces and such fruits, and sometimes we saw the vines climbing along 
them. The valleys were frequently provided with little brooks which contained 
a crystal stream. The corn on the sides of the road, was almost all mown, 
and no other grain besides maize and buckwheat was standing. The former 
was to be met with near each farm, in greater or lesser quantities; it grew 
very well and to a great length, the stalks being from six to ten feet high, and 
covered with fine green leaves. Buckwheat likewise was not very uncommon, 
and in some places the people were beginning to reap it. 

A month later (in October) he writes: 

Wheat was now sown everywhere. In some places it was already green, 
having been sown four weeks before. The wheat fields were made in the English 
manner, having no ditches in them, but numerous furrows for draining the 
water, at the distance of four or six feet from one another. Great stumps of 
the trees which had been cut down, are everywhere seen on the fields, and this 
shews that the country has been but lately cultivated. 

The "worm fence" appears to have been a feature of the farm 
lands in Kalm's time, at least in the middle and southern regions. He 
comments at some length on the wastefulness of wood in the construc- 
tion of these worm fences. 



380 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

Considering how much more wood the tcorm fences require (since they run 
in ben dings) than other inclosures which go in straight lines, and that they 
are so soon useless, one may imagine how the forests will be consumed, and 
what sort of an appearance the country will have forty or fifty years hence, 
in case no alteration is made; especially as wood is really squandered away in 
immense quantities, day and night all the winter, or nearly one-half of the year, 
for fewel. 

These rude forefathers of ours evidently had small concern for 
future posterity. Wood they had in abundance and they burned it 
without stint. The smell of the hearth smoke must have gone deep 
into their veins and its subtle influence still evokes a sense of homeli- 
ness in those of us who perchance have inherited some ancestral re- 
sponse that makes for happiness quite as much as acres of standing 
timber. 

In New England the mantle of drift, that had been strewn over the 
land by the melting of an ancient glacier, afforded abundant material 
for the building of " stone fences." These old walls, beset with weeds 
and briars, became the retreat of many of the smaller wild animals that 
had been driven from their forest stronghold by the clearing of the 
land. The fox still finds a friendly road in the cover of these bound- 
aries, and the woodchuck, ensconced within some sheltering cranny, 
whistles his shrill note of defiance against the harassing boy and dog. 

The surroundings of a homestead very often reflect certain local 
conditions. The picturesque "well-sweep" still survives here and 
there in rural New England and its origin may possibly be traced to 
the long pine pole of the region. The well-sweep also appears in the 
pine wood tracts of the coastal plain in Delaware, and probably else- 
where. In the middle Atlantic region the " spring-house " was an 
early adjunct of the dairy. Many old spring-houses still linger 
throughout this land, with crumbling roofs and weathered walls falling 
slowly into decay while the rill trickles through, reminiscent of a time 
when pans of creamy milk and bowls of yellow butter stood cooling in 
its water. Ofttimes, in near-by spots, these rills and springs are choked 
with a growth of the pungent water-cress. Modern separator machin- 
ery has dispossessed the spring-house— only on some remote farm does 
it still do service. Its passing is not altogether to be regretted, for 
many women-folk fell early victims to the crippling rheumatism that 
its damp walls engendered. Occasionally some poor family makes a 
home in one of these abandoned structures, and this recalls a still 
more interesting abode which one now and then happens upon in some 
out-of-the-way district — an old log-house that has lingered on through 
the changing years, a quaint reminder of the past. I know of several 
such houses not many miles from Philadelphia. The spring-house 
appears to be altogether local in its origin; the abundant springs and 
rills along the hillside borders of wide meadow pastures inviting the 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 381 

building of such contrivances for keeping dairy products through the 
hot spells of summer. 

Many curious old-world customs and beliefs, into which various 
natural objects entered, took root in the new soils though in a some- 
what altered form to suit the changed conditions. Much of folk-lore has 
always been concerned with the weather. Besides the ember-days there 
was Candlemas with its superstition regarding the sunshine on that 
day as a prognostication of the remainder of winter. In Germany, if 
the badger saw his shadow it was an old belief that hard weather would 
follow for some time. No badger appearing on the Atlantic slope, the 
role of weather prophet was conferred upon the ubiquitous woodchuck 
or ground-hog whose honors are still fairly even with the weather 
bureau. So prominent a bird in European folk-lore as the cuckoo ap- 
pears to have had no representative in this country to take its place, 
though we might regard the term " rain-crow," bestowed upon its 
American congener, as a somewhat vague recognition of kindred quali- 
ties. The art of the divining-rod in locating underground water 
migrated across the sea with these early settlers, and for this purpose a 
forked branch of the witch-hazel was used with as sure results, when 
held by a gifted hand, as that of the elm, the hazel or the willow of 
the old world. Unfortunately we can not trace the " witch " part of 
the name back to any certain source in the craft of the broomstick, and 
" hazel " is but a borrowed title. The shrub has much about it that is 
peculiar. Among our American underwoods its late autumnal bloom, 
at the fall of the leaf, and the ripening of its fruit in the next summer 
are conspicuous and may have appealed to the mystery-loving mind of 
the seventeenth century. 

Superstition gathered about the strange whippoorwill and its weird 
twilight call. The Indian peoples, too, seem to have regarded this 
bird as one of omen and Catesby in his " Natural History of Carolina " 
quotes a piece of aboriginal folk-lore to the effect that the bird waB 
unknown to them until after a certain battle when a great many of 
their people were slain by the Europeans, and that now the birds heard 
calling in the dusk are the souls of their ancestors. Many fragments 
of nature folk-lore sprang up in the new world from an old-world 
transplanting, as to the belief that swallows spent the winter in the 
mud of ponds and river, and other beliefs quite as curious which have 
gone into the limbo of the forgotten past. 

In parts of the country, notably in the middle Atlantic region, the 
planting of plane trees (the sycamore or button wood) in the immediate 
vicinity of farm houses appears to have been a wide-spread custom 
under the belief that the tree warded off lightning. Whatever may 
have been the reason for its planting, this tree, with its huge bowl 
uplifting a crown of branches, and the striking color of its bark — white, 



382 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

brown and gray in streaks and blotches — is one of the most conspicuous 
features about the grounds of many old homesteads. 

V. 

Adventurous men who wandered beyond the Appalachian Moun- 
tains into the Ohio country found, west of the Wabash River, the 
forest giving place to open grassland or " prairies." These were great 
meadows with little or no tree growth, save along the bottomlands of 
rivers. The edge of the broad-leaved forest along this prairie border 
thinned out into those scattered, open woods known to the early pio- 
neers as " oak openings." It may have been that this prairie country 
was at one time more extensively wooded and its later deforested condi- 
tion a result of the persistent burning of the undergrowth by the hunt- 
ing tribes of Indians to increase the pasture area for the vast herds of 
bison that roamed over the grass country of the Mississippi Basin. 
The late Professor Shaler advanced this view some years ago, stating 
that it was his belief that had the discovery of the continent been de- 
layed for another five centuries much of the original forest to the east 
would probably have been burnt off in this way and the land changed 
into a prairie country. This burning of the woods seems to have been 
a wide-spread custom in aboriginal times. William Wood, in his 
" New England's Prospects," speaks of it as follows : 

For the Indians burning it [the ground] to suppresse the Underwood, 
which else would grow all over the Countrey, the Snow falling not long after, 
keepes the ground wanne, and with his melting conveighs the ashes into the 
pores of the earth, which doth fatten it. 

Mention is also made of this custom by numerous writers at a later 
period. Richard Smith, 2 of Burlington, New Jersey, who made a sur- 
vey about the headwaters of the Susquehanna and the Delaware, in the 
spring of 1769, speaks of the appearance of these burnt tracts, and I 
have been told on reliable authority that in the lower Delaware region 
the Indians burned the tops and slopes of the hills, leaving the land 
along the river bottoms" untouched. 

The clearing of land in the progress of settlement had the same 
effect as the burning off of the forest — it virtually converted a wide 
area of primitive forest-covered country into prairie, though inter- 
spersed with tracts of woodland. Our pastures are in reality prairies 
so far, at least, as their f aunal and floral features are concerned. This 
fact suggests a very interesting question. When the country was almost 
entirely forest-covered, as in the period before settlement, what was the 
manner of life of such plants and animals as now inhabit our fields and 
meadow pastures? Were they originally forest-dwellers which have 
altered their habits to meet the new conditions, or are they migrants 
from the western prairie country ? In the case of certain birds I think 
that the last view embodies what has actually taken place. A large 

* " Journal of Richard Smith," edited by F. W. Halsey. 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 383 

number of plant species, however, which are characteristic of our pas- 
tures and fallow fields, involves another point of view as to their 
former distribution. 

The aboriginal flora of the Atlantic slope was unquestionably com- 
posed of shade-loving species. Kalm, in a very interesting and suggest- 
ive paragraph in his " Travels/' noted this fact as early as the year 
1748. Save along the river marshes and seacoast, or in widely scat- 
tered glades and beaver meadows throughout the forest region, there 
was little encouragement to the growth of meadow plants as we know 
them to-day. A striking fact in the distribution of our eastern flora 
is the comparatively large numbers of species that have found their 
way across the ocean from the shores of Europe and have become 
naturalized in our fields. These immigrants are for the most part 
" weeds " which everywhere find congenial surroundings throughout 
our cultivated lands, and like the human immigrants thrive apace. 
They are rank growers of great fecundity and have gained an ill repu- 
tation among the farmers. Some of them, as the big white daisy and 
the buttercups, in out-of-the-way districts where the standard of farm- 
ing is low, form the chief hay crop, and the daisy is said, by way of 
extenuation, to possess milk-making qualities. The names of these 
instruders are familiar to most of us, possibly more familiar to many 
than those of native growth. Daisy, buttercup, toad-flax, mullein, 
burdock, cockle-bur, dandelion, the common St. John's wort, self-heal, 
lamb's quarters, field-sorrel, smartweed, and many more are among the 
throng that early made a new home for themselves in the cleared land. 
It is hardly likely that these same plants would have gained a foothold 
had the land remained in its primitive forest-covered state, for they are 
all light-loving species, thriving in the open expanse of fields. Many 
indigenous species, as the Joe-Pye weeds or thoroughworts and the tick- 
seeds and others of more or less moist habitats have undoubtedly 
greatly increased their range since the days of settlement, spreading 
out from river borders into the low meadow lands. One interesting 
plant is unquestionably a rather recent migrant from the prairie coun- 
try. This is the Black-eyed Susan or cone flower which has found its 
way into eastern fields with clover seed brought from the west. 

Doubtless it was in some such manner that the host of European 
species that now adorn this land found a means of transit, for much grass 
seed and grain was brought over by the colonists. Nearly all the grasses 
of our fields belong to European species that have become naturalized. 
The native grasses appear, for the most part, to have been annual 
species that grew in the woods, at least in certain districts. Kalm has 
an interesting observation on this point. While staying with the 
Swedes at their village on the Delaware in the autumn of 1748 one of 
the old inhabitants told Kalm that in his youth "there was grass in 
the woods which grew very close, and was everywhere two feet high," 



384 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

but being an annual it was rapidly destroyed by the cattle, that were 
turned into the woods by the settlers, before it had time to seed itself. 
Kalm further remarks: 

However careful economists have got seeds of perennial grasses from 
England, and other European, States and sowed it in their meadows, where 
they seem to thrive exceedingly well. 

From the same writer it appears that the woods about this Delaware 
region originally had a scant undergrowth, for he speaks of their open 
character — " so that one could ride on horseback without inconvenience 
. . . and even with a cart in most places." 

It is a significant fact that most of the native wild flowers of our 
Atlantic region, excepting those that grow along the river banks and in 
wet meadows, are woodland species. We go to the woods to find our 
early spring flowers — hepatica, bloodroot, the anemones, the may- 
flower, dogstooth violet, saxifrage, bluets and spring-beauty. These 
species probably acquired the habit of vernal blooming as a necessity 
imposed by their forest life — unfolding their blossoms in the sunshine 
of bare woods before the leafage cast its heavy shade. It is possible 
also that the habit may be, in part, an inheritance from the glacial 
time, the then short summer period of vegetative activity correspond- 
ing with our present spring.* In certain groups of plants which are 
eminently characteristic of eastern North America the larger number 
of species are of woodland distribution. This is the case with the 
golden-rods and asters. In glancing over these two groups one is 
struck by the preponderance of species that are found in woods or 
along wood borders. Those that grow in the more open lands, as in 
fields, are for the most part either of northern or western distribution 
or are inhabitants of moist soil districts, such as meadows and swampy 
glades. 

Every boy who has indulged a natural propensity to haunt the wild 
and delectable spots of his neighborhood, to pursue shy birds and pry 
into the secrets of their nests, knows that there are some birds that dwell 
in the woods and others that make their homes in the fields. A student 
of ornithology, likewise, soon learns that certain species of birds are 
peculiar either to the woods or to the fields, and that the structure and 
habits of life in each are in accordance with the nature of the sur- 
roundings. Among eastern North American birds there are several 
species of sparrows, as the vesper sparrow or grass finch, the savanna 
and grasshopper sparrows, that are strictly grassland birds. The same 
is also true of the meadow lark, the bob-white, the cowbird, the red- 
winged blackbird, and the bobolink. These are all birds of open 
grassland country. 4 

•"The Origin of our Vernal Flora," Harshberger. Science, Vol. I., p. 92. 
New Series. 

4 These remarks on the origin of our field birds appeared in an article by 
the present writer under the title " Birds of the Grasslands," in the Popular 
Science Monthly, February, 1893. 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 385 

The question naturally arises — When the region was one unbroken 
forest, as in aboriginal times, where were the birds that to-day are 
found only in our fields? Two answers appear possible to this ques- 
tion. There may have been a radical change in the habits of these 
birds since the first clearing of the land, or they may have come from 
the western prairie region. This latter view, is, I think, the more 
probable from the fact that all of the above-mentioned birds are found 
throughout the prairies and on the Great Plains, or are represented 
there by varieties which differ only in slight shades of color. The 
three sparrows are widely distributed over the country, though the 
savanna sparrow in its choice of localities is not so entirely an upland 
bird as are the other two species, haunting marshes along the coasts and 
river valleys as well as the higher open country. The familiar meadow 
lark of our eastern fields is abundant throughout the prairie region and 
is replaced on the drier western plains by a closely related form. The 
cowbird is another species that is widely spread over the continent and 
its habit of associating with cattle for the purpose of feeding upon the 
flies that swarm about them suggests the question — whether this habit 
was acquired since the settlement of the country, or did these birds 
haunt the bison herds on the plains and begin to straggle eastward 
after the cattle were introduced. The bobolink may have been a bird 
of the river marshes throughout the Atlantic region long before the 
discoverer set foot upon these shores, though from its wide range over 
the interior valleys and prairie lands we might infer that it had come 
east after the opening of the country. Similar conclusions could be 
adduced concerning the red-winged blackbird, but it is a bird more of 
marshland than of upland fields. Certain shore birds seem also to have 
taken advantage of the clearing of the country, as the killdeer and the 
grass plover, both being frequenters of plowed and fallow land. 

A remarkably interesting case is that of the black-throated bunting 
or dicksissel. This bird is an abundant species in the glasslands of 
the middle prairie region. In the time of the ornithologist Wilson, 
and as late as the year 1880, it was not uncommon in certain localities 
in the east. Since this latter date it seems to have entirely disappeared 
from the Atlantic seaboard. For several years previous to that time 
I knew of a few pairs of these birds which nested each spring in certain 
fields of timothy and clover in the vicinity of Philadelphia. Their 
disappearance from these localities was remarkably sudden and appar- 
ently without reason, unless, as was suggested, it was due to the mowing 
of the fields and the destruction of nests and young birds. The evi- 
dence seems clear, however, that a part of the dicksissel population 
spread early into the newly opened fields of the east and abandoned 
them later, returning to their original prairie home. 

In old, settled lands, as in England and the countries of western 
Europe, bird life has in large measure adapted itself to the human 



386 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

population. Its background is the domestic landscape — village, hedge- 
row and park; no wide tracts of uncultivated land or of wilderness to 
lure birds away. In America vast numbers of birds still sequester 
themselves in wilderness solitudes undisturbed by men, and even in the 
settled districts many of the more shy species find congenial haunts 
in the depths of undergrowth some distance from habitations. On 
the other hand, there are some like the grackle or crow blackbird, the 
robin and the bluebird, the catbird, the chipping and song sparrows 
that seem to prefer to dwell about the homes of men. Indeed, it is 
quite true, that many of our native birds have found a certain advan- 
tage in this affiliation with the human population, at least so far as the 
food problem is concerned. The blackbird flocks that swarm over 
the corn lands in early autumn have certainly not diminished, rather 
have they increased, since the first days of settlement. The bobolink 
has probably widened its range with the increased area of cultivation. 
The crow, though a wary tenant of the farm lands, nesting and roosting 
away from the haunts of men, is still a prominent figure in the land- 
scape of agricultural districts. Many sparrows are gleaners in the 
shorn fields and pastures, and about the barns and door-yards. 
Orchards have become a favorite resort, affording an abundance of 
food for numerous bird families. Great numbers of migrating birds, 
especially wood warblers, follow the bloom of the fruit trees from 
south to north in the spring to feed on the insects that infest the 
buds and blossoms. Not so many years ago, before the larger cities 
had entirely outgrown their earlier village character, the Baltimore 
oriole wove its hanging nest here and there in some shade tree along 
a busy street or in some city square or old town garden. Its rich 
warble and brilliant color were truly a refreshing sound and sight in 
the June days, a touch of the woodland life now rarely if ever to be 
met with in the great overgrown centers of trade. 

In England one is impressed with the abundance of individuals 
among birds which have become dependent upon man and his work. 
In America a process of adjustment is going on which will unquestion- 
ably bring about a similar status in the bird population as more and 
more of the wild land is cleared and cultivated. In the human history 
of progress and discovery many delicately adjusted points in the balance 
of nature are disturbed, entailing often complex and widespread 
changes in the life and habits of the native fauna. Such changes as we 
have pictured are small fragments in the history of a country, but 
they possess great interest as showing how remotely and by what strange 
means causes and effects operate. Man appears in a new land, clears 
its face of timber and builds his home. By and by birds from the 
distant prairie lands find their way into his fields. The swift forsakes 
the hollow tree to build in the settler's chimney, and the swallow leaves 
the overhanging tree-trunk and rocky ledge for the shelter of the eaves 



THE ATLANTIC FOREST REGION 387 

and barn. The robin nests within handreach of the door-sill, and the 
wren and martin, leaving their old homes in the forest to some wood- 
pecker more lazy than his fellows, scold and quarrel for the possession 
of any hole or box so long as it is near the dwelling places of men. 

The effect of forest clearing and settlement on the larger wild 
animals of the region was even more striking, since it caused their 
rapid disappearance from the vicinity of cultivated land. The wild 
animal life of the larger sort is always in inverse proportion to the 
increase of an agricultural population. The indigenous fauna increases 
in a land of aboriginal hunting folk of low culture, but decreases 
swiftly and surely in contact with civilized men. Aboriginal man is 
part of the fauna of a region. As a species he has struck a balance 
with other indigenous species of animals and as such is a " natural 
race." Like the lower animals the native man also vanishes from the 
region of settlement. 

Of the lower mammals which inhabited the Atlantic forest region 
in aboriginal times the gray timber wolf was conspicuous, as all early 
records relate. It has not entirely disappeared from the wilder tracts, 
especially in the remote northern forest, even at this late day. The 
bear still lingers in more or less security on the outskirts of settle- 
ment, his vegetarian tendencies rendering him a far less formidable 
animal than some of his former neighbors. Of these last the cougar, 
variously known as puma, panther or " painter," was a desperate char- 
acter and has been hunted out even from the more remote wilderness. 
His relative, the bay lynx or wild cat, may still be met with in deep 
mountain woods. Of the deer tribe, the common or Virginian deer 
("buck" in the colloquial tongue) is fairly numerous in many parts 
of the wild country, largely as a result of protection. The case of the 
wapiti or "elk," however, is different. This great deer at one time 
dwelt along the wooded ranges of the Appalachians, probably in some 
parts extending its migrations to tide-water (upper Chesapeake Rivers) 
as witnessed by various local place names. The deep wilderness of 
coniferous forest to the north, remote and little disturbed by European 
invasion, is inhabited by two species of deer — the moose and the caribou 
— which are still fairly numerous. A difference in habits, as well as 
in aboriginal distribution, may account for the persistence of these 
two deer, as compared with the elk, in the Atlantic region. The 
elk is gregarious by nature and in the early history of the country was 
found in large herds, sometimes a hundred or more individuals, fre- 
quenting the open beaver meadows and the timber of river bottoms 
throughout the Appalachians. The moose and the caribou, on the 
other hand, rarely associate in any considerable numbers and frequent 
more inaccessible places, as tamarack thickets and the heavy growth 
of spruce and birch woods. 

At the time of the discovery, and possibly long before, the bison 



388 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY 

or buffalo had extended its range eastward into the region about the 
headstreams of the Ohio and Tennessee and there is evidence that an 
occasional straggler had even reached the upper valleys of streams 
flowing into the Atlantic. Bemains of the animal found in caves and 
deposits in several localities testify to this eastward extension of its 
range in pre-Columbian times. The word "buffalo," occurring as it 
does in certain place-names of an early date throughout the middle 
Atlantic region, offers further evidence as to the one time presence 
of the animal in these localities, and there is at least one well-au- 
thenticated notice of its having been killed in central Pennsylvania 
as late as 1790. 5 

Of the smaller animals many, like the beaver and the otter, have 
disappeared, though the latter animal is still rarely seen here and there 
on remote streams, even in the settled districts. The beaver formerly 
built its dams and lodges in many of the streams throughout the 
forest region and traces of its occupancy may still be found in certain 
woodland meadows as well as in various place-names. Other species 
seem to have suffered little if any diminution, as the fox, skunk, 
mink, woodchuck, musk-rat, the raccoon and opossum, while rabbits 
and squirrels multiply apace. These have all in part adjusted them- 
selves to the new conditions, many of them thriving at the expense 
of the agriculturist. 

VI 

A tract published in London in the year 1634 under the title 
" New England's Prospects," by William Wood, contains among other 
interesting and curious observations the following concerning the 
American weather : 

The North-West wind coming over the Land is a cause of extreme cold 
weather. . . . But as it is an Axiome in Nature, Nullum violent um est 
perpetuum, No extremes lasting long, so this cold winde blowes seldome above 
three days together, after which the weather is more tolerable, the Aire being 
nothing so sharpe, but peradventure in foure or five dayes after this cold 
messenger will blow afresh, commanding every man to his house, forbidding any 
to outface him without prejudice to their noses. 

This is a capital description of the average winter climate of eastern 
North America, dominated as it is by the constant succession of high 
and low pressure areas moving eastward across the country. William 
Penn in like manner writing from Pennsylvania says — "the weath